Powell fifty propels Tallawahs atop the table

Jamaica Tallawahs 204 for 5 (Powell 64, Williams 3-34) beat St Lucia Stars 183 for 8 (Pollard 46, Simmons 45, Russell 2-15) by 21 runs

After ending their three-game Florida ‘home’ slate winless, the Jamaica Tallawahs looked more at ease in a true road setting as Andre Russell’s charges rediscovered the winning touch in St Lucia by scoring a 21-run win over St Lucia Stars. A match-up with the franchise holding the most losses in CPL history was just the tonic the Tallawahs needed to reclaim the first place on the table as Rovman Powell‘s splendid 64 took the Tallawahs past 200.

Needing 124 off the final 10 overs of the chase, the Stars threatened briefly behind David Warner, Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons but were left with too much work to do in the end after a poor start to their reply. With just four points from eight matches, Stars’ playoff hopes are hanging by a thread as they head back on the road for their final two contests against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and Barbados Tridents.

Ten squared partnership

Tallawahs were 56 for 1 at the end of the Powerplay when Qais Ahmad struck with his first ball after entering in the seventh over, getting Johnson Charles to sky a drive to long-off. After the struggles of Ross Taylor to score quickly in Tallawahs’ two-run loss to Barbados Tridents in Florida on Wednesday night, Rovman Powell was promoted to No. 4 and the move paid off as Powell scored 64 off 37 balls. Powell and Kennar Lewis scored at 10 per over for 10 overs in a 100-run stand to give the Tallawahs the necessary platform for victory.

After not facing a ball in the Tallawahs’ failed chase three days earlier, Powell made up for lost time by cracking five sixes in crossing 50 off 29 balls. The most impressive of the lot came in the ninth over off Kieron Pollard, swatting a tennis racquet backhand six straight back down the ground after being bounced.

Wind Mill

Kesrick Williams, who earlier had removed Glenn Phillips in the Powerplay for 17, threatened to derail the Tallawahs innings in the 17th. Williams started the over with the wicket of Lewis caught behind for 33 and ended the frame by getting Andre Russell driving to Darren Sammy positioned at a very straight mid-off for 5.

Powell fell to Obed McCoy two balls into the 18th, bringing Taylor and David Miller to the crease for the final leg of the death overs. On Wednesday night, the pair had teamed up for an ultimately futile half-century stand as they coasted to a stunning loss to the Tridents. Against the Stars attack, though, Miller showed far greater urgency, bashing 29 of the 33 runs that came off the last two overs. Miller’s two sixes off Williams skewed the medium pacer’s figures and took the Tallawahs to 204, just enough in the end.

Marked man

The Stars lost two wickets in the first seven overs, beginning with Mark Chapman. The Kiwi import was recalled after missing the last four matches with a groin injury, but his poor form from the first week of the tournament hasn’t changed.

Chapman had struggled against spin from the middle order, facing four deliveries and getting out three times to spin bowlers. Promoted to open the chase in an effort to have him take on the Tallawahs medium-pacers, Chapman found the gap through cover point off Oshane Thomas.

But after a wide next ball, Chapman’s luckless run at the CPL continued when he slashed Thomas to Adam Zampa stationed very square at third man on the boundary where he took a sensational catch. Chapman has now faced just 12 balls for 12 runs in four innings in his maiden CPL season. Rahkeem Cornwall fell to Imad Wasim in the next over as the Stars plummeted 8 for 2 just eight balls into the chase.

Star-crossed finish

At 81 for 3 in 10 overs, needing another 124 to win, Stars were still in with a decent shot of chasing down the Tallawahs’ target considering the high-octane finishes that have occurred in St Lucia throughout this year’s tournament. Warner kicked off the action after drinks by sweeping Zampa for a boundary. Two of the next four balls were sent to the rope by Pollard and Warner as well, but Warner pushed his luck off the final ball of the over when his attempted slog sweep swirled in the air behind Glenn Phillips. Charles ran across from short third man for a lunging catch to dismiss Warner for 42 off 26 balls.

A few quiet overs from Imad and Zampa pushed the required run rate near 15 per over as Stars needed 89 off the last 36 balls. But Pollard, who struck 30 in an over 24 hours earlier to help ice the Stars chase against the Guyana Amazon Warriors, kept pace with the climbing rate in the 15th by smashing the first three balls from Zampa for six, four and six.

Simmons had been bumped down the order to No. 6 from the opening slot he occupied Friday night against the Warriors as the Stars management searched for a solution to get him out of his form funk. He followed Pollard’s lead in the 16th, bashing three consecutive legal deliveries from Thomas for six, four and four, and by the end of the over, the equation was a manageable 54 off the last four overs.

But Russell yorked Pollard three balls later for 46. Simmons struck two sixes off Powell off the final three balls of the 18th as momentum see-sawed briefly back to the Stars leaving 32 off the final two overs. Russell, however, struck again in a tidy six-run over to get Darren Sammy. Simmons was run out by Thomas with three balls left for the Tallawahs to mathematically clinch victory.


Source: Peter Della Penna – ESPNCricinfo.com

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