Match Report

Paarl Royals Thump Joburg Super Kings in SA20 League

The Paarl Royals produced a sensational all-round performance to beat the Joburg Super Kings by 7 wickets in their SA20 League match at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday night.

John Goliath
John Goliath

Last Updated: 2024-01-17

Dillip Mohanty

Paarl Royals smash Joburg Super Kings to maintain unbeaten start

The Paarl Royals produced a sensational all-round performance to beat the Joburg Super Kings by 7 wickets in their SA20 League match at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday night.

The bonus-point victory moved the unbeaten Royals level on points with the Durban Super Kings, who have also made a flawless start to the competition after three matches.

The Super Kings, on the other hand, are still winless after four matches in the second edition of the tournament. Their solitary point so far has come from the rained out match against the Sunrisers Eastern Cape in the tournament opener.

On Wednesday, the Johannesburg side were completely outplayed by the Royals. The only thing that really went for them was the toss, and an outstanding half-century by Leus du Plooy, who helped the team reach 134 all out.

The Super Kings' outing with the ball was even worse, as a belligerent Jos Buttler smashed their bowlers to all parts of the this picturesque stadium. The Royals ended up chasing the target in 14.1 overs, which earned them a vital bonus point in the process.

Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming bemoaned their struggles with the bat, which has been one of the key reasons for their disappointing run so far in the tournament.

Fleming has also chopped and changed quite a bit, but they have yet to find their mojo in this competition.

"It's was probably a 180-190 pitch. It was a pretty good surface, the players looked to be scoring okay, but we obviously fell well short. My take on it was a high scoring game, which we didn't capitalise on," Fleming said.

"We have made a few chances to search for the right formula, but the nature of the loss is the more concerning aspect, being out of the fight. We're trying to find a catalyst to get us going, but we have lacked the execution and probably a bit of confidence as well.

"We have been a bit timid, and that can happen when your trying to find the balance between being over positive and making mistakes. We're in that sort of no-mans land."

The Royals, who lost out on a final berth in the first season, are looking to keep that momentum they have built up so far.

The Paarl side have produced good team performances, which has been aided by some brilliant individual ones too.

"The challenge is to keep going. Yes, we have had a good start to the tournament, but each game you start on naught again and we know that," said Buttler.

"But we are in a good position at the moment."


Shane Bond has got Lungi Ngidi cooking ...

Super Kings captain Faf du Plessis had no hesitation batting first on what is perceived to be the slow and a spin-friendly track.

They may have used the previous match the Royals played against the Pretoria Capitals as a reference point, as the visitors struggled to chase down 160 batting second.

However, the Royals fast bowlers shows that their is some life - and bounce - in the track with Obed McCoy (2/31) getting rid of Reeza Hendricks with a rising delivery.

Proteas seamer Lungi Ngidi then bowled Du Plessis with another peach of a delivery, nipping back off the seem to castle the former South African captain.

Ngidi (3/17 ) has been outstanding so far in the tournament and seems to be bowling with a great rhythm.

A lot of credit needs to go to new coach Shane Bond, the legendary former New Zealand fast bowler. Bond seems to have worked his magic with Ngidi's wrist position at delivery and the ball is coming out nicely.

"Lungi has got great options with the ball and a real leader of our attack," said Buttler.

"He has been vital for the national team for a number years and he has got a great mixture of skill and he knows how and when to use them. Bowling here in Paarl he is very effective, and in the different conditions in Centurion he was also very good."

Du Plooy the glue that kept Super Kings together

Du Plooy was the Super Kings' only resistance, scoring a battling 71 off 43 balls (7x4, 3x6). He played the Royals much-vaunted spin attack especially well, sweeping to rotate the strike and clearing the boundary.

Du Plooy, who used to call this stadium his home a few seasons ago, just didn't have a batting partner to stay with him, although Moeen Ali's 18 did help get them closer to a reasonable target for their bowlers to defend.

It also didn't help that Super Kings were involved in three run outs, albeit two of them in the last over in the pursuit of quick runs.


Buttler was in the mood at Boland Park


Royals captain Buttler made his intentions clear from the start despite losing opening partner Jason Roy (5) in the second over of their run chase.


Buttler (not out on 70 off 37 balls), who was the Royals; main source of runs in the first edition of the tournament, showed his class as a man who can dominate any bowling attack on any surface.


Buttler was practicing hitting the ball out of the ground coming into the match because he felt he was hitting enough sixes in the matches so far. Well, as they say in the classics, practice makes perfect.


According to locals Buttler smashed one of the windows in the hospitality area during that season, and he hit another ball into the VIP section on Wednesday.


"It's nice to hit sixes and it's nice trying to practice to hit sixes. I'm trying to play with some freedom and really enjoy my cricket at this tournament," said. Buttler.


The England white-ball captain smashed eight boundaries and three massive sixes in his half-century. He shared a 87 run stand with Wihan Lubbe (39 of 30) to break the back of the chase and lead his team to the the all-important bonus-point victory.


The Royals next play MI Cape Town at Newlands on Friday, before heading back home for the reverse fixture against their Western Cape neighbours on Sunday.


"I'm sure they are going to be great games. The tournament has been really fun and really well supported. I'm sure the games against MI Cape Town will be exactly that," Buttler added.

John Goliath
John GoliathSenior Sports Writer and Editor

John Goliath is a copywriter and editor with 20 years' experience in the sports media industry. John, a Tottenham Hotspur tragic, studied journalism in the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and has worked for two of the biggest media houses in South Africa.