There will be no Jamaica Tallawahs in this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League playoffs.
The St Kitts Nevis Patriots ensured this materialised on Thursday night when they humbled the Tallawahs by 20 runs at Sabina Park, Kingston, thanks to a brilliant half-century by Fabian Allen.
Allen, a Jamaican and playing at his home ground at Sabina Park, hit an unbeaten 27-ball 62 to guide Patriots to 176-6, before Alzarri Joseph (2/37), Rayad Emrit (2/17) and Sheldon Cottrell (2/33) grabbed two wickets apiece as the Tallawahs were restricted to 156 all out.
Tallawahs’ sixth loss in seven matches meant they were eliminated from playoff contention with three matches left after one of their most horrendous runs in the history of the tournament. While the Tallawahs still have a mathematical chance of making the playoffs if they can attain a maximum eight points by winning their remaining three matches, this will depend on other results go their way as well. Based on their current form, however, no one will give them such a chance. At best, it is now a Tallawahs dream which the patriots surely dashed Thursday night.
The Patriots meanwhile joined the Trinbago Knight Riders on joint second on the six-team table, which is led by the unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors (10 pts), both teams on eight points each but the TKR with a better net run rate. The Barbados Tridents and St Lucia Zouks are both on two points but with seven and six matches left in their campaigns.
However, the Tallawahs have only themselves to blame for their latest defeat, as they had the Patriots struggling in their innings but let them recover to post a challenging total. And their talismen, Chris Gayle and Andre Russell, then failed to deliver when they needed them most – which has been the team’s main issue this season.
The Patriots were reeling after the Tallawahs bowlers removed openers Devon Thomas (3) and Evin Lewis (7) inside the first three overs.
Thomas tried to drive medium-pacer Dwayne Smith’s fourth delivery into the covers and got a thick edge straight through to wicket-keeper Glenn Phillips in the second over. The dangerous Lewis then pulled the last ball of pacer Jade Dernbach’s first over, the innings’ third, straight down the throat of Chadwick Walton at deep mid-wicket as the visitors slipped to 19-2.
Laurie Evans and Mohammad Hafeez started a recovery with a 46-run third-wicket partnership, but Ramaal Lewis broke it with a bit of brilliance in the field in the ninth over from spinner Zahir Khan. Evans played a blistering cut shot to point, probably felt it was good for at least two or perhaps four runs and took off for a single, only to see Lewis dive brilliantly and execute a stop. As Lewis gathered the ball, Hafeez sent Evans (21) back but it was too late as wicket-keeper Phillips had already collected the return from Lewis and executed the run-out. The Patriots were then 65-3.
Things got worse 11 runs later when Shamar Springer got Hafeez (37) to put his cover drive straight at Gayle. Shamar Brooks followed four runs later, lbw to Khan, and skipper Carlos Braithwaite quickly followed him to the pavilion, as he tried an ill-advised pull shot off Russell, never got the timing right and was gobbled up by Javelle Glen at cover, as the Patriots slid to 82-6.
But Keron Cottoy (27*) now joined Allen and the two stood resolute to bat through the remainder of the innings. They creamed 81 runs off the last five overs as Allen hit seven fours and three six in his innings. They also set a new CPL record for a seventh-wicket partnership of 94.
In their turn at the crease, the Tallawahs were behind the eight-ball early on as well when Cottrell got the dangerous Gayle in just the third over of their innings.
Having troubled Gayle in his first over with some outswingers which beat the veteran’s bat, Cottrell got the Tallawahs skipper to play an uncontrolled pull shot high into the night sky. When it came down Cottoy gleefully accepted the catch at mid-wicket.
Joseph then delivered a double strike with the wickets of Chadwick Walton (1), caught and bowled, and Dwayne Smith (4), caught at mid-on, as the Tallawahs’ slumped to 46-3.
Imran Khan joined Glenn Phillips at the crease and the two briefly gave the home fans some hope with a 69-run fourth-wicket partnership.
When Khan was out for a well-played 20, caught and bowled by Mohammad Hafeez, Russell strode to the crease for the 15th over and the home fans still had hope, he having previously won many a match in similar scenarios for the team.
But on this night it was not to be, as Russell inexplicably pulled the first ball he saw from Emrit, was never in control of the shot and skied it high into the night where Cottrell took the catch and flashed his signature soldier’s salute as the Patriots began early celebrations.
Thereafter, Phillips got to a well-played 87 before he was out trying keep the scoring up and Shamar Springer would bring the Tallawahs as close as he could to the score they needed with a 20-ball 30, but he simply did not have the support around him by then.
ST KITTS NEVIS PATRIOTS 176-6 (20) (Fabian Allen 62*, Mohammad Hazeef 37, Keron Cottoy 27*, Andre Russell 1/17, Dwayne Smith 1/18) v JAMAICA TALLAWAHS 156 all out (19.5) (Glenn Phillips 87, Rayad Emrit 2/21, Sheldon Cottrell 2/33, Alzarri Joseph 2/37)
Result: STKNP WON BY 20 RUNS
Man-of-the-match: Fabian Allen (STKNP)