KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – St Kitts and Nevis Patriots took a giant leap towards qualification for the playoffs with a convincing 20-run victory that ensured beleaguered Jamaica Tallawahs continued their free fall in the Caribbean Premier League on Wednesday night.
Asked to bat first at Warner Park, Patriots rallied to 176 for six off their 20 overs, with West Indies all-rounder Fabian Allen blasting an unbeaten 62 off just 27 deliveries.
Mohammed Hafeez chipped in with 37 off 25 balls while Keron Cottoy helped close out the innings strongly with 27 not out off 23 balls.
In reply, Glenn Phillips carried Tallawahs as far he could with a superb 87 off 49 deliveries but lacked the support and the innings eventually faltered to 156 all out in the final over.
Significantly, talisman Chris Gayle managed just one and explosive all-rounder, Andre Russell, a first-ball ‘duck’, doing serious damage to the run chase as Tallawahs surrendered their last six wickets for a mere 41 runs.
The defeat was the sixth in seventh outings for Tallawahs who will now depend on results in other matches going forward in order to have any chance of reaching the final four.
In contrast, the victory for Patriots was their fourth in eight matches, further strengthening their hold on third place with eight points.
Patriots wobbled at the start when they lost openers Devon Thomas (3) and Evin Lewis (7) but Hafeez and Englishman Laurie Evans (21) posted 46 for the third wicket to stage a recovery.
When Evans was run out in the ninth after looking set, Patriots stumbled losing four wickets for 17 runs in quick time to find themselves teetering on the brink at 82 for six in the 13th over.
Allen then came to his side’s rescue, belting seven fours and three sixes, inspiring an unbroken 94-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Cottoy whose knock contained two fours and a six.
Together they gathered 81 runs from the last five overs to tilt the balance in Patriots’ favour, especially after the innings was stalling at 75 for three at the half-way stage.
Tallawahs started their run chase slowly before suffering a massive setback when Gayle holed out to deep mid-wicket off left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (2-33) in the third over with the score on three.
Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph (2-37) then prised out Chadwick Walton (1) and Dwayne Smith (4) cheaply to leave Tallawahs on 46 for three in the seventh over and facing a climbing required run rate of nine runs per over.
Tallawahs held out hope while Phillips remained at the wicket, the New Zealander plundering eight fours and five sixes, and adding 69 for the fourth wicket with Imran Khan (20).
He was marching towards three figures when he perished in the 16th over, skying Cottoy to long-on, his dismissal coming the over after Russell also holed out in the deep.