Match Report

2024 SA20: Paarl Royals Blitz MI Cape Town to Record Historic Victory

The Paarl Royals recorded their first ever victory over MI Cape Town in the SA20 League when they smashed their Western Cape neighbours by 59 runs on at Boland Park on Sunday.

John Goliath
John Goliath

Last Updated: 2024-01-21

Dillip Mohanty

Roy, Fortuin stars in Paarl Royals SA20 win over MI Cape Town

The Paarl Royals recorded their first ever victory over MI Cape Town in the SA20 League when they smashed their Western Cape neighbours by 59 runs on at Boland Park on Sunday.

The Royals lost their previous three encounters against MI Cape Town in the competition. Their most recent defeat in the derby was on Friday night when Cape Town pumped them by eight wickets.

But the Royals got their revenge with a comprehensive display with bat, ball and in the field.

After losing the toss and sent in to bat, the Royals scored 162/3 on what looked like a wicket that played well upfront with the new ball, but seemed to lose some pace towards the end.

Openers Jason Roy and Jos Buttler set the game up for the Royals with a century partnership upfront. Roy scored a half-century to record his highest score at this ground after struggling - his previous highest score at Boland Park was 23.

The Royals celebrated a double strike in the first over of the MI Cape Town innings, with Bjorn Fortuin striking off consecutive balls to leave the visitors in big trouble. MI Cape Town recorded the lowest power play in the competition thus far, their batting line-up punch drunk at 25/3.

The Royals' spinners Fortuin and Tabraiz Shamsi then went to work and were almost unplayable on this surface after the early wickets. MI Cape Town struggled to get any momentum besides one partnership between Connor Esterhuizen and Sam Curran.

The decision to bowl first again came back to haunt a visiting captain, as the Royals made it three wins out of three at Boland Park this season without winning a single toss.

Jason Roy finally finds some form at home at Boland Park

After a couple of scorching days in the Winelands - the temperature reached 40 degrees on Friday - it was a bit cooler on Sunday. However, the English pair of Buttler and Roy brought the heat with the bat.

Roy’s previous highest score at Boland Park was 23, as he has only shown the home fans glimpses of ability in a season and a half. But, after a good outing on Friday at Newlands, he finally came to the party with a knock that was a bit more subdued than what the fans have been accustomed to.

Roy and Buttler went hard in the power play, but were selective in their shot making after the first six overs. The pair added 116 for the first wicket that set the platform for the home side's eventual 162/3.

Roy struck his highest score for the Royals, a 46-ball 68, while Buttler contributed 54 off 42 balls.


Thushara comes off the plane to star for MI Cape Town

The Royals’ score could have been well over the 200-run mark, but MI Cape Town new signing Nuwan Thushara reigned in the home side with figures of 2/27 on debut.

Thushara’s bowling action is a striking resemblance to Sri Lankan legend and MI Cape Town bowling coach Lasith Malinga. He is also just as lethal when it comes to landing his yorkers and looks like quite the signing for the Cape Town side

Homeboy Bjorn Fortuin goes bang bang for Royals

Paarl-born spinner Bjorn Fortuin starred with the new ball in the first season of the SA20. He has this knack of picking up wickets in his very first over, especially at home at Boland.

His dangerous delivery is the one that goes on with the arm, and he rocked MI Cape Town with two wickets in the very first over of their reply.

Fortuin had Rassie van der Dussen caught down the leg side with Buttler taking a smart catch behind the stumps standing up. The very next ball Dewald Brevis’ torrid time in the tournament continued when he played back to a Fortuin arm-ball that cleaned bowled him.

Royals get the big wicket of dangerous Ryan Rickelton

Ryan Rickelton has undoubtedly been the batsman of the tournament thus far, scoring four successive half-centuries in the matches leading up to the Boland Park clash.

However, his streak would end against the Royals when he hit an Obed McCoy delivery straight up in the air before he was caught by Andile Phehlukwayo.

Partnership tries to rescue MI Cape Town, but the magician dazzles …

Connor Esterhuizen and Sam Curren got together at 13/3 to try and rebuild the innings after the Fortuin show at the start of the innings. However, they could only add 39 runs before Esterhuizen was caught going for a big shot off Andile Phehlukwayo.

The early wickets for the Royals laid the platform of their premier spinner Shamsi (2/11) to bowl with a bit more freedom to try and rip the ball and take wickets.

The left-arm wrist spinner, who entertained the crowd with a magic trick by pulling a colour-changing handkerchief out of his pocket, got the crucial wickets of Curran and captain Kieron Pollard, while the required run-rate started to soar.

Fortuin finishes off what he started with a little help from his friends

Fortuin (3/15) took his third wicket when he got rid of George Linde for a first ball duck, before the team’s seamers cleaned up the tail to guide them to victory.

Obed McCoy (2/18) and Lungi Ngidi (2/26) also revealed in the home conditions, with their slower balls into pitch causing havoc for MI Cape Town’s batters, who were trying to at least prevent the bonus-point.

In the end they fell way short of even that target, as the Royals kept their unbeaten home record intact.

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.