Taylor, Gayle fire as Tallawahs down Hawksbills
Title-holders Jamaica Tallawahs beat strugglers Antigua Hawksbills by seven wickets in a rain-abbreviated encounter at Sabina Park yesterday to move into second place in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) points standing.
The Hawksbills remain rooted at the base of the table without a point.
The victory was set up by fast bowler Jerome Taylor, who put in a Man-of-the-Match performance in grabbing 4-18, to help restrict the Hawksbills to 89-9 off 17 overs.
Given the heavy downpour of rain which paused play for one hour and 38 minutes near the end of the Hawksbills innings, the Duckworth & Lewis method was used, leaving the Tallawahs a target of 87 off 17 overs.
Jamaica Tallawahs captain Christopher Gayle thrilled fans at the venue with several lusty blows in a typically punishing 59 not out off 36 deliveries, as the home team sped to 91-3 with 18 balls to spare.
Scores: Hawksbills 89-9 (17 overs); Tallawahs 91-3 (14 overs - D&L method).
Gayle said the bowlers made the win a formality.
"I thought the bowlers really set it up for us. Taylor had a brilliant start and I'm happy for him. And the rest of the bowlers backed him up," the Tallawahs captain told television presenter Ian Bishop after the match.
Marlon Samuels, skipper of the Hawksbills and one of several Jamaicans playing for the Antigua franchise, said "the pitch was gripping a bit" during his team's innings, resulting in several batsmen mistiming shots.
Earlier, the Tallawahs won the toss and sent the Hawksbills to take first strike in front of a medium-sized crowd at the ground.
The home fans soon had plenty to cheer about as Taylor, the West Indies pacer, bowling with accuracy and guile, tore into the Hawksbills' top order, snatching the first four wickets to fall.
He bowled wicketkeeper/batsman Devon Thomas for three with a full pitched delivery that ricocheted from the bat onto the stumps.
Samuels, the top batsman for the Hawksbills this season was next when, on two, he mistimed a lofted drive for Andre Russell to run around at mid-on and take the catch. It was a big wicket for the hosts, indicated by the animated celebrations as team members ran towards the fielder.
The burly Rahkeem Cornwall (one) followed next, trapped leg before wicket by a full one that shaped in from off stump, as Hawksbills slumped to 35-3 in the eighth over. It was 36-4 in the same over as Taylor accounted for left-handed Ben Dunk (23).
Dunk, dropped on one by David Bernard off the bowling of left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori in the first over of the innings, turned a good length Taylor delivery, but got a leading edge onto the offside and the bowler ran to his right to take a sharp, sliding catch.
David Hussey (two) was run out by substitute fielder Fabian Allen as he tried to complete a quick single, while left-arm spinner Nikita Miller dismissed Danza Hyatt (eight), Shacaya Thomas (12) and Sheldon Cotterell (zero).
A shower of rain -- not seen in most of the dry corporate area for numerous weeks -- then interrupted play before Carlos Brathwaite (24) was run out off the last ball of the innings by an accurate throw from the livewire Russell to wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton.
Hungry to improve their net run-rate, the Tallawahs blasted to victory with ease, despite losing Walton (14), Jermaine Blackwood (11) and Russell (one).
Gayle, who amazingly pulled a short delivery from medium pacer Brathwaite out of the ground for six early in his innings, was also responsible for lofting off-spinner Cornwall onto the roof of the George Headley Stand in a virtual one-man batting show.
The big left-handed batsman reached 50 off 32 balls when he belted seamer Ben Laughlin for six off the start of the 14th over and ended the match in the same over with his sixth and final maximum hit of the innings. Gayle also struck two fours.
The Tallawahs meet Guyana Amazon Warriors tomorrow at Sabina Park, before facing Barbados Tridents at the same venue a day later.
ANTIGUA HAWKSBILLS (Max: 17 overs)
B Dunk c & b Taylor 23
+D Thomas b Taylor 3
*M Samuels c Russell b Taylor 2
R Cornwall lbw b Taylor 1
D Hussey run out (sub [F Allen]) 2
D Hyatt c Russell b Miller 8
S Thomas c Gayle b Miller 12
C Brathwaite run out 24
S Cottrell b Miller 0
B Hogg not out 8
Extras (w6) 6
TOTAL (9 wkts, 17 overs) 89
Did not bat: B Laughlin.
Fall of wickets: 1-17 (DC Thomas, 4 overs), 2-34 (Samuels, 5.5), 3-35 (Cornwall, 7.1), 4-36 (Dunk, 7.4), 5-41 (Hussey, 8.3), 6-48 (Hyatt, 11.1), 7-60 (SE Thomas, 13.4), 8-60 (Cottrell, 14), 9-89 (Brathwaite, 17)
Bowling: Vettori 4-0-19-0, Bernard 1-0-6-0 (w1), Taylor 3-0-18-4 (w1), Theron 3-0-17-0, Miller 4-0-17-3, Voges 2-0-12-0.
JAMAICA TALLAWAHS (Target: 87 from 17 overs)
C Walton lbw b Laughlin 14
*C Gayle not out 59
J Blackwood st Thomas b Cornwall 11
A Russell c wkpThomas b Laughlin 1
A Voges not out 3
Extras (w3) 3
TOTAL (3 wkts, 14 overs) 91
Did not bat: O Shah, D Bernard, D Vettori, J Theron, N Miller, J Taylor.
Fall of wickets: 1-44 (Walton, 7.4 overs), 2-57 (Blackwood, 10.3), 3-58 (Russell, 11.1)
Bowling: Samuels 4-0-13-0 (w1), Cottrell 3-0-17-0, Brathwaite 1-0-16-0, Laughlin 3-0-28-2 (w2), Cornwall 3-0-17-1.
Result: Jamaica won by seven wickets (D/L method).
Points: Tallawahs 2, Hawksbills 0.
Man-of-the-match: Jerome Taylor.
Toss: Jamaica Tallawahs.
Umpires: Nigel Duguid, Peter Nero; TV - Patrick Gustard.