Following the final league clash of the SA20 that saw the Paarl Royals lose to the Pretoria Capitals at Centurion on Tuesday, the fixtures for the knockout stages are now confirmed.
Needing 227 to win, the Royals quickly opted to focus on the 163 needed that would see them keep their place in fourth position on the log thanks to a superior net run-rate over Durban’s Super Giants.
Thanks to a fine 70 by Jos Buttler, the Royals ended on 167/9, losing by 59 runs but securing their qualification spot.
On Wednesday, in the first semi-final of the competition, they will do it all again as they take on the top-of-the-table Capitals, but this time at the Wanderers in Johannesburg (from 17:30).
Then on Thursday, the second semi-final sees the Joburg Super Kings take on Sunrisers Eastern Cape at SuperSport Park in Centurion (from 17:30).
Speaking earlier on Tuesday, SA20 League commissioner Graeme Smith said the current semi-final structure of the tournament was kept intact so that it keeps its integrity, even though the top two sides will play their semi-finals at ‘away’ venues.
Smith said the league not only took over the semi-finals but was assured by the teams that they were happy with how the playoff scenarios panned out.
The venues for the playoffs were announced early, with the Newlands, Boland Park and St George’s Park being unavailable because of the Women’s T20 World Cup that starts on Friday.
“The league takes over the running of the knockout fixtures, even though the franchises run the round-robin games,” Smith said.
“The league takes over to protect the integrity of the knockout games to manage biases and pitch doctoring.
“Ours is to ensure the standard of the knockouts is delivered to a high level, and you’ll see that the branding becomes about the finals,” Smith said.