Paarl — The temperature touched 40°C at Boland Park Tuesday as the Paarl Royals clinched a 10-run SA20 victory over the Durban’s Super Giants.
The normally packed grass embankments were empty as the locals crowded under the trees. Not even the increased prize money – to R2-million in total – for a one-handed catch could get them away from the sought-after shade.
Yorkshireman Darren Gough did a commentary stint with an ice towel over his head, while many batsmen were left on their haunches when running a quick two.
Local boy Bjorn Fortuin is probably the one player accustomed to the conditions, having attended school in the picturesque Winelands town not too far from the Royals’ home ground.
He was definitely the coolest during the Super Giants’ PowerPlay, ripping the heart out of their batting line-up to set up the victory for the Paarl outfit.
Defending 169, Fortuin bowled his four overs through the PowerPlay and dismissed the dangerous Kyle Mayers, Quinton de Kock and Dwaine Pretorius to end with figures of 3/14 as Durban ended on 159/8.
A few days ago in Durban, in their first match against the Super Giants, he wasn’t used in the initial part of the innings and took a bit of tap at the hands of De Kock.
But the left-arm spinner and the Royals got sweet revenge to record their second win of the campaign.T
he Royals’ total was set up by a brilliant knock by Wihan Lubbe, who looked a drained man after spending more than hour at the crease in the Paarl heat.
His 57 runs came off 36 balls and included five fours and three sixes, after Jos Butler got the team going with a 27-ball 35, before captain David Miller (28) added the finishing touches to the innings.
While Fortuin did the damage upfront for the home side, Evan Jones took four wickets at the back-end of the game to push the Rocks up the SA20 table.
The in-form Heinrich Klassen (56 off 39 balls, 2x4, 2x6) had too much to do towards the end of the innings, as he lost partners along the way.
The conditions were also summed up perfectly when, after running a few hard twos, Klassen couldn’t muster up the strength to put away a couple of slot-balls in the final over.
Paarl Royals: 169/6 (Wihan Lubbe 57, Jos Buttler 35, Dwaine Pretorius 2/35, Prenelan Subrayen 1/24)
Durban Super Giants: 159/8 (Heinrich Klassen 56, Wiaan Mulder 29, Evan Jones 4/32, Bjorn Fortuin 3/14)
Royals win by 10 runs