It wasn't the most ideal start for JP Duminy's entourage in the SA20, as they were faced with an 8-wicket loss against MI Cape Town on Tuesday. But the Paarl Royals will take heart from their head coach's inspiring words in the dressing room, pick up the broken pieces and stitch them up ahead of their next challenge in the tournament.
While Jos Buttler and David Miller brought their experienced selves to Newlands in the season opener, it wasn't enough to take the Royals over the line, especially with MICT losing just two wickets in the chase. But it's still early days and although some familiar faces may have shared the field together in the past, this is still a freshly assembled squad in pursuit of becoming a strong team of performers. Skipper Miller will hope his team takes the positives from their first game and bounces back with a win in their first home fixture.
4th Match: Paarl Royals vs Joburg Super Kings
Boland Park, Paarl
01:30 PM local time
Playing cricket in South Africa means that you'll always have beautiful natural landscapes for company. The Boland Park is one of the most naturally scenic venues in the country set amidst the mountains of Paarl, offering an ecletic mix of grass embankments and concrete seating for best viewing. With a capacity of 10,000 people, the ground has hosted international matches in the past, including the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. It is also a regular venue for South Africa's domestic matches.
From a pitch perspective, the wicket here is known to provide equal assistance to both batters and bowlers. This will be the first SA20 game at the ground so both teams will have their eyes on the kind of wicket that the curators roll out. While the Royals are coming off a loss and will be looking for a comeback, the Super Kings have a win under their belt from their last match.
A couple of notable absentees from the Royals' playing XI against MICT were all-rounder Corbin Bosch and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi. Corbin's inclusion will strengthen the all-rounders' department, whereas Lungi will boost the fast bowling line-up. If both players are available and match-fit, the management will be faced with an interesting task of fitting them into the final XI.
Royals to watch
Jason Roy: The explosive English batter has a range of big-hitting shots that can put any opposition to shame right from the get-go. Against MICT, Roy batted at No.3 as opposed to his usual opening slot where he's had maximum inpact. If the Royals decide to promote him to the top, they will have a fiery combination capable of exploiting the first six overs and getting the team to a solid start.
Bjorn Fortuin: South Africa's local lad Bjorn Fortuin was the Royals' most economical bowler in the opener. In 3.3 overs, the left-arm spinner conceded just 23 runs and finished with an impressive economy of 6.60. His first spell inside the Powerplay saw him concede just the solitary boundary, as he gave no room to the MICT batters to score freely. Also known his handy batting skills, Fortuin adds some much-needed depth at the tail end.
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