Tallawahs stagger into semis - Jamaica franchise go down to Zouks after giving up commanding position in final CPL preliminary-round game
In one of the most dramatic batting collapses in Caribbean Premier League history, the Jamaica Tallawahs somehow managed to throw away a winning position to go down by 11 runs to the St Lucia Zouks in the final preliminary-round game of the competition yesterday.
After restricting the Zouks to 145 for six, the Tallawahs, who were 84 without loss in the 12th over, lost nine wickets for 50 runs to finish on 134 in their 20 overs.
The loss may prove to be a morale-sapping result for the Tallawahs, who play the first semi-final against the unbeaten Trinbago Knight Riders tomorrow. The second semi-final will see the Zouks taking on the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
Once again, the batting failed to back up a decent bowling effort as the Tallawahs took the field after the Zouks decided to bat.
Fast-bowler Fidel Edwards bowled with pace and aggression at the top of the innings to set things up for the spinners, who would get the breakthrough from Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Mark Deyal went caught behind for 13 at 25 for one in the fourth over. Carlos Brathwaite then removed Andre Fletcher for one, and when Sandeep Lamichhane got rid of opener Rahkeem Cornwall for a quickfire 32, the Zouks were in a spot of bother at 53 for three.
Roston Chase and Najibullah Zadran then stuck in and brought up a useful fifth-wicket partnership of 61 runs to spruce up the Zouks total, which managed to get to 145 for six wickets.
Chase was left unbeaten on 32 while Zadran got 35 against two wickets for Mujeeb, who was the pick of the bowlers.
The Tallawahs were looking to canter to the total after a brilliant opening stand between Glenn Phillips and Jermaine Blackwood.
The pair mixed brain and brawn and meticulously took the Tallawahs to 84 without loss before Phillips played around one from Zahir Khan to fall for a well-played 49 from 36 balls.
That wicket was the catalyst for the collapse, and soon after, a tired-looking Jermaine Blackwood was caught behind off Jamaican leg-spinner Javelle Glen for a sluggish 25 from 38 balls.
It would go all downhill from there for the Tallawahs as captain Rovman Powell chalked up yet another failing score as he was brilliantly caught in the slip by his opposite number Daren Sammy off Khan for two at 91 for three.
The very next ball, Andre Russell fell to the same combination for nought to signal the batting woes for the Jamaican franchise.
A spritely 25 from 15 balls from emerging player Nicholas Kirton gave the Tallawahs chase some respectability, however, Khan and Glen, who snared three wickets apiece, would have the final say as Jamaica fell short by 11 runs and conceded their sixth loss of the tournament.