‘A captain’s knock if ever there was one’

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Paarl Royals beat Sunrisers Eastern Cape by five wickets in the 21st match of the SA20 2023 at the St George’s Park in Gqeberha on Tuesday, January 24. Before the clash, Sunrisers were in high spirits, having defeated Durban’s Super Giants by a massive margin of 124 runs in their previous game. 

They were looking forward to putting their best foot forward against Royals, hoping to ride on their winning momentum, which unfortunately didn’t happen.

Paarl Royals, on the other hand, had entered the game with a win against Pretoria Capitals by six wickets. They were looking to build on the same and string back-to-back victories under their belt. The last time when Paarl Royals had faced the Sunrisers, they ended up on the losing side. In this clash, the Royals managed to get their sweet revenge.

Choosing to bat after winning the toss, Sunrisers Eastern Cape put up a very ordinary score of 130/7 in their 20 overs. JJ Smuts was their top scorer, having amassed a quickfire 65 of 49 deliveries, with Roelof van der Merwe being their best bowler, scalping 2 wickets for 11 runs in his 4 overs.

For the Paarl Royals, the chase was no less than a roller-coaster. For majority of the time it looked that Sunrisers would definitely be able to defend their total, but it didn’t turn out to be. Jos Buttler didn’t hesitate in striking a well-made half-century and finished as the top-scorer for Royals.

However, the entire script of the game changed when the much talked-about Sisanda Magala of Sunrisers came to bowl the 18th over to Royals skipper David Miller. Miller chose the over to go completely hammer and tongs and deposited Magala all over the park for a whopping 25 runs, smashing three sixes and a solitary four (hit by Dane Vilas). It took Royals only 18.5 overs to chase down the target eventually.

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