Paarl Royals let it slip, coach admits, after crashing out of SA20 playoffs

The Royals were eliminated by the Joburg Super Kings.

The Paarl Royals did not get the best out of themselves in the SA20 competition, assistant coach Siddhartha Lahiri conceded, after they became the first team to be knocked out of the playoffs.

Competing in an eliminator clash against the Joburg Super Kings at the Wanderers on Wednesday evening, the visitors were handed a thumping nine-wicket defeat as the hosts chased down their 139-run target with 40 balls to spare.

While the Super Kings progressed to a qualifier against Durban’s Super Giants, which was set to be played in Johannesburg on Thursday, the Royals were eliminated from the second edition of the popular T20 series.

The Paarl side were among the early front runners in the league stage of the competition, winning five of their first six games, before allowing their momentum to slip as they lost control in the second half of their campaign.

While they went on to lose their last four matches on the trot, they did enough to finish third in the standings and book their spot in the playoffs, but their latest defeat ended their title hopes.

‘A momentum game’

“The T20 format is very much a momentum game, and once you lose that momentum then things become challenging,” Lahiri said.

“We had a few bad games and then suddenly the momentum dropped, and I think that’s how I can sum up our season. We started really, really well, and then we had a few bad results.

“I can say various things, but we didn’t play to our potential, that’s for sure.”

Paarl Royals batting coach Siddhartha Lahiri
Paarl Royals batting coach Siddhartha Lahiri speaks to the media during a press conference. Picture: SA20

After getting off to some good starts in the latter stages of the competition, Lahiri felt they had failed to capitalise and were ultimately punished for their lack of consistency.

“In the T20 format, for 40 overs you have to be on top of your game almost throughout the entire process, and as soon as you lose at certain points, then you’re playing a catch-up game,” he said.

“At one point in time we were in line to finish top of the table, but then some of the results did not go our way and we played some not-so-good cricket.”