Paarl Royals and Sunrisers Eastern Cape commence battle to join DSG in Qualifier 1

Paarl Royals and Sunrisers Eastern Cape commence battle to join DSG in Qualifier 1

Both sides having already qualified for playoffs


Friday, 02 February 2024: With Durban’s Super Giants having already secured their place in Qualifier 1 of the Betway SA20 Playoffs, one spot remains for either Paarl Royals or Sunrisers Eastern Cape to claim.

What adds to the excitement of the battle is that the pair face off back-to-back this weekend, starting at Boland Park this evening, so whoever secures their two chances to reach the final will have well and truly earned it. A win for Sunrisers on Friday evening will seal their place in Qualifier 1 as they currently hold a two-point lead over Royals (24-22).

Royals have had the benefit of five days to reset, following their back-to-back bonus point losses against DSG last weekend, but their goals remain in place fast bowling coach Mandla Mashimbyi asserted.

“The goal is still the same, we want to finish in the top two – and that’s as simple as that. We’re still very much in the competition; we started well and that has paid dividends for us. Now we just have to reset, refocus, come back, freshen up and hopefully the last two games we go back to our best.”

Royals’ strength in Season 2 has undoubtedly been their bowling attack. Lungi Ngidi has taken a League high 13 wickets (joint with Sunrisers’ Dan Worrall) while he, Tabraiz Shamsi, Obed McCoy have featured prominently on the Bowler of the Season leaderboard this campaign. They will have the benefit of being refreshed at their favourite Boland Park this evening.

“This break couldn’t have come at a better time and it gives us time to reset. What’s important is for the guys to have some rest, do some self-reflection and come back for us to formulate the way forward.

When Mashimbyi was asked about whether they had effective gameplans for the playoffs, considering how strong they’ve been at home compared to the playoffs venues – Newlands and Wanderers.

“The conditions will speak to that because that first qualifier is not in any of our [Royals, DSG or SEC] home conditions, we’ll be in Cape Town if we finish second and if we finish third we’re going to Joburg. So, condition will dictate how we go about things – we just have to go back to the drawing board and see how that will work out for us.

Sunrisers Eastern Cape have also been heavily indebted to their bowlers, with the aforementioned Worrall, Ottniel Baartman and Marco Jansen all taking turns to make opposition batters’ lives difficult. As Aiden Markram remarked mid-week, after they bowled Joburg Super Kings out for 78, they’ve also made their own luck.

“That was a nice one. A few balls we got in the right area and obviously fortunate with some of the other dismissals as well so if you look at it from a broader aspect we’ll do a reflection based on that. Happy with the win and that we took all our chances out in the field and another good day out for the batters especially for Mala [Dawid Malan] to be not out there at the end, it will do his confidence the world of good – we’re in a nice and solid space as a team and a change room at the moment.”

Going into the crucial final two matches of the group stage, Markram is grateful for their closer matches they’ve had this campaign.

“I think it’s helped us that we’ve had two close games that we’ve managed to get over the line [both against MI Cape Town]… if you take those wins away then you’re scrambling similar to what we were last year so those go a long towards the back-end of a comp. I’m happy that we got those two close games over the line and it’s good practice building into the next [knockout] phase of the competition as well.”

This match will start at 17h30 (SAST).


Paarl Royals: David Miller (captain), Ferisco Adams, Fabian Allen, Jos Buttler, Keith Dudgeon, Bjorn Fortuin, Evan Jones, Wihan Lubbe, Obed McCoy, Lungi Ngidi, Nqaba Peter, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jason Roy, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lorcan Tucker, John Turner, Mitchell van Buuren, Dane Vilas, Codi Yusuf.

Sunrisers Eastern Cape: Aiden Markram (captain), Tom Abell, Ottniel Baartman, Temba Bavuma, Liam Dawson, Sarel Erwee, Aya Gqamane, Simon Harmer, Jordan Hermann, Marco Jansen, Patrick Kruger, Dawid Malan, Farid Malik, Adam Rossington, Caleb Seleka, Andile Simelane, Tristan Stubbs, Beyers Swanepoel, Daniel Worrall.


Match referee: Barry Lambson

Standing umpires: Brad White and Thomas Mokorosi

TV umpire: Stephen Harris

Reserve umpire: Abdoellah Steenkamp


Rights free images from the Betway SA20 are available below.

Betway SA20 Season 2 | SPORTZPICS Photography

Media Contacts at stadiums


Paarl Royals v Sunrisers Eastern Cape.xls


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