Tallawahs fail to spark on home leg of CPLSaturday, September 21, 2019
BY SHERDON COWAN
Jamaica Tallawahs fell even further behind in the race for a Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) play-off spot as they signed off their disappointing home leg of the tournament on a losing note, going down by 20 runs to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at Sabina Park on Thursday.
The latest defeat, which was the Jamaican franchise's fourth in five home games and sixth from seven games overall, was quick and unpleasant for the few fans who bothered to turn out, as Tallawahs again failed miserably with the bat.
After winning the toss and fielding first, Tallawahs squandered what was possibly their best start with the ball, allowing Jamaican Fabian Allen, with an unbeaten 27-ball 62, to pilot the Patriots to 176-6 off their allotment.
Allen hammered seven boundaries and three sixes in his knock, while Keron Cottoy, not out on 27 off 23, chipped in with two fours and one six to steal the game from underneath the Tallawahs.
The two partnered in a 94-run stand — the highest-ever seventh-wicket stand in CPL history — to rescue their team from 82-6 after 12 overs.
Chasing 177, Tallawahs struggled to put together partnerships and were eventually bowled out for 156 in 19.5 overs.
But New Zealand's Glenn Phillips continued his rich vein of form and was again the highlight of the Tallawahs with a dazzling 49-ball 87, including eight boundaries and five sixes.
Shamar Springer with a 20-ball 30 — including three fours and two sixes — and Imran Khan (20) were the only other batsmen to get into double figures for the Tallawahs.
The loss cemented Tallawahs at the foot of the six-team standings on two points, facing an uphill battle if they are to make the play-offs.
Patriots, with the win, remain in third position on eight points from seven games, as they strengthened their claim for a play-off position.
Scores: Patriots 176-6 (20 overs); Tallawahs 156 all out (19.5 overs)
The Tallawahs killer instinct with the ball has been lacking from the very first game of the tournament, but the manner in which they started on Thursday would have had fans hopeful of a shift in fortune.
The seamers enjoyed some amount of movement with the new ball and rode that wave of momentum well, with Dwayne Smith having Devon Thomas (three) caught behind by Phillips and Jade Dernbach combining with Chadwick Walton to send back Evin Lewis (seven) by the third over.
Pakistani Mohammad Hafeez with a 25-ball 37, including five fours and one six, repaired the damage in a tidy, 46-run, third-wicket stand with Laurie Evans (21).
But when Evans was brilliantly run out by Ramaal Lewis, and Hafeez drove one from Shamar Springer to Chris Gayle, Patriots were reeling at 76-4.
Andre Russell and Afghanistan wrist spinner Zahir Khan removed Carlos Brathwaite (three) and Shamar Brooks (six) in quick succession, as the Patriots innings seemed destined for a quick finish at 82-6.
However Allen came to the rescue, dominating the record partnership with some aggressive strokeplay and reaching his half-century off 23 balls as the Tallawahs' bowling went amiss.
Of the 94 runs that came in the unbeaten stand, 81 came in the final five overs.
Still with 176 on the board, many would have afforded Tallawahs a chance of overhauling their target, especially with the power-hitting of Chris Gayle, Chadwick Walton, and Andre Russell.
But all three failed to spark, with Gayle and Walton falling cheaply for one while Dwayne Smith went for four, with Tallawahs at 46-3.
Phillps paced himself well from the start at the other end and raised another half-century off just 25 balls by the eighth over, as he scored runs with consummate ease.
When Phillips reached 50, Tallawahs were 60-3 and Khan, who replaced George Worker in the line-up, proved useful as he stuck around to share in a crucial 69-run stand for the fourth wicket.
After Khan fell, Russell came out to loud cheers, but the crowd went silent after he skied one from Rayad Emrit to Sheldon Cottrell for a duck.
The pressure of the chase and lack of support finally took a toll on Phillips, holing out to Brooks off Cottoy as the required run rate crept past 12 runs per over.
At 123 for 6, Tallawahs needed something special from their lower order to pull off the chase, and Springer tried to deliver with a few lusty blows, but the ask was too much and the accuracy of the Patriots bowling accounted for the remaining wickets in short order.
Jamaican Cottrell (2-33), Alzarri Joseph (2-37) and Emrit (2-21) led the Patriots bowling.
Tallawahs will next be away to Barbados Tridents on Monday, before travelling to St Lucia for battle against the Zouks after which they will close out the preliminary phase against Guyana Amazon Warriors.
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