BEIJING—For the world’s best sprinters, passing the baton in the 4x400 relay is about as easy as rolling out of bed in the morning.
Picking a winner in that race used to be easy, too.
Ever since cricket started there was a saying: 'catches win matches'. Up until last night the T&T Red Steel did not get the point as they dropped many catches to allow the Jamaica Tallawahs to get back into their play-off and defeat them by four wickets at Warner Park in St. Kitts.
Chasing 156 runs for victory, the Tallawahs were up against it at 76 for six but that man Andre Russell with the help off poor outfielding brought the victory home in the last over.
Russell banged 62 from an unbelievable 27 balls to send Dwayne Bravo's men home. He was dropped twice and with eight needed in the last over Evin Lewis put down Rusty Theron as the Tallawahs got the win.
They now go on to play the Guyana Amazon Warriors today in the second play-off at the same venue.
The Red Steel missing top bowler Samuel Badree fought a good fight for three quarters of the game but Russell who is fast becoming a T20 superstar was too much on the opposition as he entertain ed the fans with very ball he faced.
Bravo lost the toss for the third successive match here and his opposite number Chris Gayle sent the Red Steel in to bat. When the umpires called play, there were more firecrackers than fans.
The big Tallawah, Gayle used medium pacer David Bernard Junior to open the attack with the experienced Daniel Vettori and this proved a golden move.
Bernard bowling some nagging away swingers was able to knockout three top order batsmen and at the end of the 'power play, Red Steel was in tatters at 37 for three
Kevin O'Brien continued his poor recent run and fell for 11 and he was quickly followed into the dug out by Nasir Jamshed (four) and the inform Evin Lewis 18.
These quick losses required a careful approach and when the drinks break was taken midway through the innings, the score was 61 for three.
For the major part of the innings Darren Bravo looked more like BRC while Taylor was the real steel. While Bravo struggled to find his timing, the New Zealander was brilliant, finding the gaps and playing crisp shots.
The right hander rapidly moved on to 70 and just when he needed to finish big in the last two overs, he fell. He faced 44 balls and struck seven fours and three sixes. Taylor's association with Bravo was worth 110 runs in 12.4 overs. The left handed Bravo followed his partner to the dug out of their big stand. He scored 33 off 35 balls with two fours and a six.
T&T Red Steel vs Jamaica Tallawahs
Red Steel inns
K O'Brien c Gayle b Bernard 11
E Lewis c Bonner b Bernard 18
N Jamshed c Bonner b Bernard 4
R Taylor c Taylor b Theron 70
DM Bravo c Bonner b Theron 33
N Pooran c Theron b Russell 3
DJ Bravo not out 2
K Cooper not out 1
Extras w12, nb1 13
Total 6 wkts (20ovs) 55
FOW: 18, 34, 36, 146, 148, 151.
Bowling: D Vettori 3-0-21-0 (2w), D Bernard 4-0-19-3 (1w), J Taylor 4-0-41-0 (4w), A Russell 4-0-37-1 (1nb, 4w), J Theron 4-0-32-2, N Miller 1-0-5-0.
C Gayle lbw Gabriel 1
C Walton c Mohammed b Benn 8
N Bonner run out 39
A Voges run out 1
J Blackwood lbw Benn 4
D Bernard c Taylor c Benn 6
A Russell not out 62
J Theron not out 18
Extras lb1, w18 19
Total 6wkts (19.4ovs) 158
FOW: 3, 24, 25, 39, 72, 76.
Bowling: S Gabriel 4-0-33-1, DJ Bravo 3.4-0-35-0, S Benn 4-0-27-3, K Cooper 4-1-25-0, J Mohammed 4-0-37-0.
Result: Tallawahs won by 4 wkts.
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