Fans in T&T were expecting a good performance, following the number of sessions which coach Stephen Hart expressed satisfaction over the past few weeks.
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Clinical Red Steel spikes Tallawahs
Tallawah is the name given to a Warrior, one who never gives up, is durable and stubborn. Playing unbeaten in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament so far, it took a sharpened Red Steel to bring them down. In front of a capacity crowd at the Queen’s Park Oval, Dwayne Bravo’s marauding men were the ones in charge, as they defeated the Jamaican Tallawahs by 13 runs for their third successive win of the tournament. Evin Lewis scored a scorching 72 runs and Kevin O’Brien a hurricane 32 to lead the home team to 183 for five off their 20 overs. O’Brien would then return with the ball to cripple the Tallawahs—taking four wickets to restrict them to 170 for six off their 20 overs.
With the win the Red Steel now goes to eight points from five matches, top head the standings and today, they would look to book a place in the final four, with a win against the St Lucia Zouks starting at 4pm at the Oval. The dangerous Chris Gayle threatened and when O’Brien had him caught at long off for 60, the game was as good as over. At the fall of the big man, the Tallawahs lost three wickets in the space of three runs to O’Brien. Gayle spanked 60 off 46 balls with five fours and three sixes, while Jermaine Blackwood (28 off 26 balls) and Andre Russell towards the end with 40 not out, were the only men to look the part. Russell faced just 17 balls and struck five sixes, three of the last three balls of the innings and a four. O’Brien ended with the magnificent figures off 4/22 to earn the man of the match award.
Earlier, Gayle won the toss and sent in the Red Steel. He would have factored in the unpredictable weather into his equation in coming up with his decision but the Gods smiled and the sun came out in its glory. His opening bowlers then struggled to make an impact and runs were flowing from the onset. O’Brien was in great touch and the big Irishman flexed his muscles to great effect. He rushed to 31 in just 21 balls, striking three fours and a two sixes. One run later the crowd would go silent again as Theron plucked one out of the air from a tentative Ross Taylor off Russell as well. Stepping in next was local hero Darren Bravo. Fresh from hitting a last ball six to win the last game for his team, Bravo just continued where he left off. He and Lewis pulverised the Tallawahs bowling and aided by some sloppy fielding were able to bring up the 100 in 12 overs.
Lewis, who was overlooked for the last two games in preference for his namesake Kenar Lewis, smacked three huge sixes in one over off Daniel Vettori. He was merciless on the Tallawahs bowling and eight times during his innings he had fans ducking in the stands. The man from Marac, finally fell for 72 caught on the over point boundary off Theron but the damage was already done. He faced just 43 balls and in addition to his eight sixes he slammed two fours as well. The partnership between the two left handers was worth 87 runs off eight overs and three balls.
Soon after Darren Bravo would leave the park—bowled all over the place by Theron for a run-a-ball 30. At the fall of Darren Bravo’s wicket, the Tallawahs came back into the contest as overs number 17, 18 and 19 realized just 18 runs for the loss of Nicolas Pooran (1). Dwayne Bravo and new man Javon Searles then struck three sixes in the last over off Jerome Taylor as they got 20 runs to close the innings at 183 for five - the second highest score in this year’s tournament, behind the Barbados Tridents 186 for two against the St Lucia Zouks.
Red Steel vs Tallawahs
Red Steel inns
K O’Brien b Russell 32
E Lewis c Voges b Theron 72
R Taylor c Theron b Russell 0
DM Bravo b Theron 30
DJ Bravo not out 24
N Pooran c Russell b Miller 1
J Searles not out 14
Extras lb5, w5 10
Total 5 wkts (20ovs) 183
Fall of wkts: 44, 45, 132, 146, 159.
Bowling: D Vettori 3-0-34-0, J Taylor 4-0-35-0 (2w), J Theron 4-0-34-2, A Russell 4-0-23-2 (3w), C Gayle 3-0-34-0, N Miller 2-0-18-1.
C Walton c DJ Bravo b Edwards 8
C Gayle c Taylor b O’Brien 60
J Blackwood c Taylor b O’Brien 28
A Voges c & b O’Brien 12
A Russell not out 40
O Shah lbw O’Brien 2
C Baugh run out 5
D Vettori not out *0
Extras b6, lb1, w7, nb1 15
Total 6 wkts (20ovs)*170
Fall of wkts: 21, 97, 121, 121, 124, 151,
Bowling: F Edwards 4-0-32-1 (2w), S Badree 2-0-15-0, K Cooper 4-0-16-0, J Searles 3-0-28-0 (1nb), DJ Bravo 3-0-41-0, S Benn 1-0-9-0, K O’Brien 3-0-22-4.
Result: Red Steel won by 13 runs.
Man of the match: Kevin O’Brien.
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