Patriots overpower Tallawahs to reach play-offs
Fifties from Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle powered the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to a 37-run victory over the Jamaica Tallawahs in Match 20 of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
The Patriots' victory confirms their qualification for the play-off stage and pulls the Tallawahs into a mid-table scrap with the Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors.
The win was set up by an excellent team batting effort which saw them post a massive 208, which proved too many for the Tallawahs, even on a good batting pitch.
After being put into bat by the Tallawahs, Lewis and Gayle were relatively becalmed in the powerplay phase, striking just two boundaries each.
Gayle should have been caught on the third man boundary by Odean Smith when he was on 16.
The Patriots, perhaps liberated by fewer close fielders after the powerplay, picked up the scoring rate, scoring 27 off the next two overs before a sharp rain shower delayed play.
Half an hour off the field did not appear to disrupt the rhythm of Lewis and Gayle. Their partnership of 110, of which 80 came in boundaries, was eventually broken in the 12th over when Lewis skied a leg side ball from Smith.
Lewis' demise brought Carlos Brathwaite to the crease, elevated to number three with 7.3 overs remaining.
His innings was short but destructive, his two fours and two sixes contributing to a 13-ball 26, lifting the Patriots to 151 for 2.
Gayle's innings finally launched as Mohammad Sami's last over was taken for 25 with Gayle striking two sixes and a four. But Mohammad Nabi could do better.
He blasted 29 off just 12 balls. His brilliant cameo and a last ball six from Brandon King, his first ball, took the Patriots to 208 for 3 from their 20 overs the highest score of Hero CPL 2017. Gayle finished unbeaten on 71 off 55 balls.
The Tallawahs' innings began with a new opening partnership in Glenn Phillips and Trevon Griffith. The pair hit some good-looking boundaries in the powerplay but could only score 48 runs in the phase.
In the 2.5 overs after the Powerplay the Tallawahs struck just two more boundaries and the rate climbed further still. The growing pressure soon accounted for Griffith, caught off a leading edge for 42 off 32.
Soon after Phillips was gone too. He had strangely struggled for timing and that eventually cost him as he picked out deep midwicket off the bowling of Tabraiz Shamsi.
An over later Kumar Sangakkara followed, caught top-edging a sweep against Nabi. The wicket of Simmons, picking out Brathwaite at deep midwicket, all but ended the Tallawahs faint hopes of victory with 110 required off 43 balls.
Shamsi's incisive spell of 3 for 35 had dealt a fatal blow to the run-chase.
Some powerful late hitting from Andre McCarthy and Rovman Powell briefly threatened to open the match up once more, but in the end the task was too steep.