Brief scores: MI Cape Town 142/9, 20 overs (Rassie van der Dussen 49, Bjoin Fortuin 2-22) beat Paarl Royals 129/6, 20 overs (Jos Buttler 68; George Linde 2-23) by 13 runs
Jos Buttler scored a valiant half-century to put the Paarl Royals in a fighting position after once being reduced to 30/4. But Jofra Archer struck in the penultimate over, paving the way for MI Cape Town completing the double on Saturday.
Stop the press! 😂 pic.twitter.com/dWpyhXNkM4— Paarl Royals (@paarlroyals) January 21, 2023
Earlier, Royals captain David Miller won his first toss of SA20 and opted to field first on a Boland Park pitch that has been equally tricky for both teams.
Gees like Royals. Powerplay like Fortuin. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/eloeumqP4b— Paarl Royals (@paarlroyals) January 21, 2023
Another Powerplay, another brilliant outing for young Bjorn Fortuin, who is back at the top of the wicket-takers' list in the tournament with 11 scalps so far. His two wickets in the first three overs, alongside a run-out of Sam Curran put the hosts in the driver's seat from the get go. Though MICT rebuilt soon after, with Rassie van der Dussen and Grant Roelofson's adding 63 runs for the third wicket.
Ferisco Adams, coming back into the line-up, broke the partnership by getting rid of both set batters in the 13th and 16th overs respectively. Then came Tabraiz Shamsi and Lungi Ngidi, both bagging two wickets each to reduce the opponents to 142/9.
Jos fights back
143 was always going to be a challenging target to chase down, and the Royals soon found out the hard way. By the 7th over, they had lost 4 wickets, with all four batters registering single-digit scores. Jos Buttler continued to hold fort at one end, but the lack of partnerships meant he had to single-handedly keep the chase alive. He was then joined by the skipper, and the experienced duo got together to resurrect the Royals' innings. Their 59-run stand came at a critical juncture but it was soon broken by Kagiso Rabada when he dismissed Miller.
With 22 runs needed in the last 2 overs, it looked like the Royals were nearing victory with an in-form Jos upping the ante. But at the start of the 19th over, the opener edged one to the keeper and it turned the tide almost instantly in MICT's favour. Evan Jones and Ferisco Adams tried to get their team over the line, but the Royals fell short by 13 runs in the end.