Facing back-to-back losses towards the end of the league stage may not have been how Paarl Royals would have wanted to enter the playoffs of the SA20 2024 season. Nonetheless, a confirmed 3rd position means they will now face Joburg Super Kings in the Eliminator on Wednesday, February 7.

Opting to bat, the Royals posted a total of 159/7, led by Jos Buttler's quickfire 22-ball 38. However, the lack of support from the other end meant that the Royals were struggling at 76/4 after 10 overs and needed a resurrection of sorts. Enter Dane Vilas and Wihan Lubbe, who tried to revive the innings with a solid 49-run partnership in 38 balls. But even they couldn't accelerate towards the end, with the team eventually putting up a 150-plus total.



In response, Eastern Cape faced difficulties during the Powerplay, managing only 41 runs despite hitting five boundaries and a six. Codi Yusuf struck in the first six overs, followed by Andile Phehlukwayo. The pair of Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma in the middle order batted with intent, with Markram even getting a lucky lifeline when dropped on 12. He capitalised on the opportunity and added 63 runs with Bavuma in just 45 balls.

Some intermittent rain towards the end of the Sunrisers' chase stalled the game for a bit, with the hosts 1 run ahead in terms of the DLS score. But the match resumed quickly without overs being lost, and the Sunrisers reached their target with 1 ball to spare. Although Stubbs hit a six and a couple of boundaries towards the end, the loss didn't affect the Royals' position in the points table. They finished third, 10 points behind the second-placed Durban Super Giants with 32 points, with Eastern Cape occupying the top spot with 33 points. The Royals' next challenge is against the Joburg Super Kings in the Eliminator at the Wanderers, Johannesburg.

From the Captain...

We have areas to improve on. The guys executed nicely, didn't play for a long time but came in an executed. We got lots to look forward to in the playoffs. We got to be better at certain phases and not let games go away, said David Miller at the post-match presentation.