Continuing from where they left off against MI Cape Town, Paarl Royals on Wednesday secured their fifth win of the SA20 2024 season, beating Joburg Super Kings at the Wanderers by 5 wickets, their first at the 'Bullring'. With 22 points in 6 games, the Royals have further tightened their grip on the No.1 spot in the points table.
Never write off the Royals.🔥 pic.twitter.com/jJpyERvB4P— Paarl Royals (@paarlroyals) January 24, 2024
Captain Jos brings the 'toss' luck
Regular skipper David Miller, who injured his foot in the previous game, didn't feature in the Playing XI and was replaced by wicketkeeper-batter Dane Vilas. Miller's absence meant that the captaincy duties were taken up by Jos Buttler. Incidentally, the Englishman ended up on the winning side of the coin flip and put the home team in to bat first. Pacers Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo grabbed a wicket apiece, with Fabian Allen also bagging one. But it was Reeza Hendricks' unbeaten fifty along with some crucial partnerships in the middle order that steadied the ship for the hosts, guiding them to a competitive total of 168/3 in their 20 overs.
Lubbe-Vilas go after the bowlers
The visitors lost Jason Roy early on, but Jos held fort at one end and dug in with Wihan Lubbe, who would go on to score a blazing fifty. Buttler and Mitchell Van Buuren fell in quick succession to Moeen Ali, paving the way for Vilas who was playing his first game of the season. At 55/3 after 9 overs, the Royals were in dire need of resurrection and that's when the Lubbe-Vilas duo emerged as a beacon of hope. Their 95-run partnership for the fourth wicket turned out to be the game-changing moment in the Royals' chase. As the batting conditions improved at the Bullring, both Lubbe and Vilas took advantage and brought down the required net run rate.
Vilas played the more assertive role, scoring at a strike rate of 161.54, while Lubbe hit three crucial sixes. Facing a tough challenge with 57 runs needed in the last 5 overs, the momentum shifted significantly in one over bowled by Lizaad Williams. Lubbe hit a six and a four in consecutive deliveries, and Vilas followed up with two fours, resulting in a pivotal 21-run over that essentially ended the Super Kings' chances. More drama ensued when both batters departed in a span of 2 overs towards the end. With 13 needed off 10 balls, it came down to Fabian Allen and Nandre Burger to take the team home. Fabian hit a six on the first ball of the 19th over, which also turned out to be a no-ball, sealing the Royals' fate in the most dramatic fashion.
What they said...
We are not worried about our position at the minute, the games keep coming thick and fast and we can hopefully ride on this momentum - Jos Buttler
The high-flying Royals return home to take on Durban's Super Giants at Boland Park on January 26.