Although they posted a tricky 127 on the board, Paarl Royals would've hoped to revive their chances after Bjorn Fortuin picked three wickets in an over to stall Sunrisers Eastern Cape. But the visitors drew the curtains on the chase to rack up their third win of the SA20 on Thursday night.
Earlier at the toss, Aiden Markram put the hosts in to bat first on a sluggish surface. The Royals lost both their openers inside the Powerplay, leaving Wihan Lubbe and Corbin Bosch to rebuild the innings. The duo batted cautiously, adding 40 crucial runs for the third-wicket stand. While Wihan kept the boundaries coming, Corbin, playing his first game of the tournament, played anchor. But their partnership only lasted till the 8th over, as Roelof van der Merwe got into the act to upset the momentum.
The middle order got some starts, but none of the batters were able to convert those into big scores as the bowlers kept chipping in at regular intervals. Despite the slow nature of the wicket, the Royals got to a decent total and with an in-form bowling attack, they would have expected it to be a close finish.
Fortuin favours the brave
What. An. Over. 👏 pic.twitter.com/0fozNdQjAX— Paarl Royals (@paarlroyals) January 19, 2023
The Sunrisers got off to a solid start, and despite losing two wickets in the first overs, kept the scoreboard ticking. Lungi Ngidi picked up wickets in consecutive deliveries to bring the Royals back into the contest. But it wasn't until the second half that the visitors really felt the heat. Bowling the 13th over, Fortuin sent back both set batters, Jordan Hermann and Aiden Markram. He followed it up with another wicket on the next delivery, to set himself up for a hat-trick. But Marco Jansen and Tristan Stubbs' formidable partnership towards the end meant that the Sunrisers chased the total in the 19th over.
- This was Jason Roy's 300th T20 match
- At the end of this match, Bjorn Fortuin became the joint-highest wicket-taker of the SA20, alongside teammate Evan Jones (9 wickets)
With this loss, the Royals have slipped to third place in terms of points, while the Sunrisers have moved to the second. They will now host MI Cape Town in the reverse fixture on Saturday.