Tallawahs beat Red Steel barely!
The Jamaica Tallawahs edged a last ball thriller against the T&T Red Steel to push the Barbados Tridents to second spot on the Limacol Caribbean Premier League table. Their victory means they will take on third-placed Barbados Tridents in the second semi-final while the Guyana Amazon Warriors, who topped the table will play the T&T Red Steel who finished fourth.
Chasing 134 runs for victory, the Tallawahs looked like they would romp to their victory target when Chris Gayle took the chase by storm. Gayle, due for a big innings, unleashed his wrath on the Red Steel bowlers. Gayle pommelled the ball to almost every part of the ground, striking four fours and five sixes. He raised his 50 from just 23 balls. Miguel Cummins was the first on his list, as he ripped into the Barbadian pacer. He struck Cummins for two fours and a six in his second over.
Dwayne Bravo also suffered a similar fate. His second over went to 25 runs. Gayle had struck him for three consecutive sixes to end the over but when Bravo got Gayle in the seventh over, the Tallawahs endured a hiccup. From 66/1, it became 95/4. Crucial wickets such as Chadwick Walton, Jermaine Blackwood and Andre all had been dismissed.
The Red Steel bowlers clawed their way back into the game. Danza Hyatt tried his best to stop the ship from rocking, stroking a run-a-ball 25. At the other end though, wickets kept falling. The Red Steel had pulled things back tremendously. Carlton Baugh and Dave Bernard went fairly cheaply. In the last over, it had come down to eight runs. After Bernard’s dismissal off the first ball, Bravo bowled a short ball that Hyatt slapped through the covers for four but the Red Steel captain returned well. Miguel Cummins fumbled at fine-leg to give the Tallawahs two easy runs. With one run needed from one ball, Akeem Dewar drove powerfully to Kevin O’Brien at mid-off. The Irishman tried to pick up and throw at the same time, and ended up missing the ball altogether.
The Red Steel made a thriller of a game they seemed destined to lose.
It all started when they were put in to bat first by the Tallawahs. The first few overs, things looked pretty comfortable but the Red Steel’s slide started from just the bad luck of Kevin O’Brien. The opening pair was going along well before Adrian Barath drove a ball straight back in the path of Bernard, only for the bowler to get a touch onto the non-striker’s stumps. From 19/1, it quickly became 25/2, as Barath followed two overs later.
Mahela Jayawardene didn’t last long either. He scored just one run before he was run out by Nikita Miller. It would be one of two crucial run outs from Miller. Darren Bravo and Ross Taylor tried to steady the innings. They put on 28 runs before Taylor was out. Eleven runs later, Miller’s magical hand struck again running out Darren Bravo.
With seven overs still to go, the Red Steel were in danger of collapsing but their skipper, Dwayne Bravo sprung to life. Bravo scored 29 runs from 16 balls, hitting four fours and a six. He struck boundary after boundary, middling almost every ball. He took the score to 109/6. Young Nicholas Pooran and Kevon Cooper couldn’t quite explode at the end. They pushed the score along to 133/8 from their 20 overs.
At the interval, it seemed a score the Red Steel could work with. When Gayle started batting, it was just a matter of how early everyone would be home on Sunday afternoon but it came down to the wire in a nail-biting over. All in all, the sold-out crowd at Sabina was thoroughly entertained.
Gayle grabbed all the awards; Limacol Super Six, Digicel 4G Fastest Scorer, and the Man of the Match.
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