SA20 2023: Twitter reacts as Paarl Royals drop points but secure semi-final spot in final-over thriller

League leaders Pretoria Capitals posted 226 runs while batting first in the last group-stage match of SA20 2023.

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Pretoria Capitals Team
Pretoria Capitals Team (Photo Source: Twitter/PC)

Pretoria Capitals defeated Paarl Royals by 59 runs in the 30th SA20 2023 match on Tuesday (February 7) to keep their top spot in the table. Paarl Royals needed to avoid defeat by 62 runs to qualify for the semi-final stage and survived a late scare. Capitals posted a huge total of 226/5 while batting first, and the Royals were restricted to just 167/9 with Jos Buttler proving hero for the Royals with a fighting half-century.

David Miller won the toss and elected to field first at Centurions' SuperSport Park with three changes to the team. Eoin Morgan, Paul Stirling, and Codi Yusuf came in for the Royals while the Capitals brought back Anrich Nortje and Adil Rashid to their playing XI.

The Capitals started aggressively with Phil Salt and Kusal Mendis piling on the runs with a 69-run partnership for the opening wicket in just 32 balls. Phil Salt smashed 39 off 21 before getting caught behind of Lungi Ngidi's delivery in the sixth over. But Mendis continued to fire with a quick half-century and crucial partnerships with Rilee Rossouw and Colin Ingram.

Mendis top-scored with 80 off 41 with the help of eight fours and four sixes before getting out in the 17th over. Ingram smashed a quick fire 41 off 21 and James Neesham added 22* off 11 in the death overs to post a big total for the Capitals. Ngidi proved a most successful bowler for the Royals with two wickets while Codi Yusuf and Andile Phehlukwayo grabbed one each.

Royals needed to score at least 163 runs to secure a semi-final spot and Paul Stirling gave them a flying start with one six and three fours but failed to convert a good start into a big knock. Eathan Bosch dismissed Stirling on 19 runs in the third over and Nortje removed Jason Roy in the next over to keep the Capitals in a driving seat quickly.

England wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler, playing at number three, kept the scoreboard moving from one end with a defensive approach. As the Paarl Royals kept losing wickets from one end, Buttler changed the approach with some eye-opening hits into the crowd and tried to grab the Royals closer to the target with an admirable fifty.

Buttler smashed 70 off 45 before getting caught of James Neesham's delivery in the 19th over. But Ngidi and Yusuf managed to drag the Royals past the 163-run total in the last over to qualify for the second semi-final despite a big defeat. Neesham took three wickets, while Miagel Pretorius and Adil Rashid grabbed two each for the Capitals.

This is how Twitter is reacting to Pretoria Capitals' win over Paarl Royals in the SA20 2023 game:

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