Patriots stun Tallawahs at the death to grab semi-final spot

Friday, September 14, 2018

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Anton Devcich's blistering half-century led the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to the semi-finals of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) via a nail-biting two-wicket win over the Jamaica Tallawahs here at the Guyana National Stadium on Wednesday night.

In a record run chase, the Patriots overhauled the Tallawahs' competitive score of 191 for five from their 20 overs, ending on 193 for eight from 19.5 overs in a scintillating finish to earn a semi-final showdown with the Trinbago Knight Riders on Friday.

It was the second-successive playoff game to be decided off the penultimate ball of the innings, following the Guyana Amazon Warriors' similarly exciting two-wicket win over the Knight Riders at the same ground on Tuesday.

Tallawahs' Captain Andre Russell entrusted Rovman Powell — who had not bowled a single ball in the match prior — to bowl the last over, with the Patriots requiring 15 runs for victory.

After bowling a dot ball to Carlos Brathwaite with his first delivery, Powell gifted the burly batsman with a full toss on the leg stump, which Brathwaite duly smashed over square leg for six runs.

Powell got his revenge the very next ball when Brathwaite tried to pull a ball from wide outside the off stump onto the leg side, but only managed to pick out Russell at long on, who took a good catch diving forward to his left — his third of the night.

With nine required from three balls, Powell was unlucky to have his subsequent delivery to Ben Cutting called a wide, with replays showing that the ball had passed inside of the marker.

An upset Powell then delivered two more wides, before Cutting turned down a run to mid-on off the fourth ball, to leave the Patriots needing six runs from two balls.

Following another wide from Powell, Cutting then clouted a half-volley from Powell over the midwicket boundary for six to spark a pitch invasion from the Patriots' players and staff.

The win, though, was set up by Devcich, whose even 50 came from just 23 balls and contained five boundaries and two sixes.

With the Tallawahs in firm control of the contest after Chris Gayle had been dismissed for a sluggish 26 from 30 balls to leave the score 62 for three in the 10th over, Devcich found a worthy ally in Fabian Allen.

Devcich swatted Steven Jacobs' last over for 20 runs and followed that up by taking Colin de Grandhomme for 17 runs in the 15th over.

They added 56 in just four overs and following Allen's dismissal for 23 from 10 balls, Devcich and Brandon King continued the onslaught in a fifth-wicket partnership of 39 in three overs to take the score up to 157 for five at the start of the 17th over.

The Patriots' sensational fightback overshadowed Tallawahs' opener Glen Phillips' impressive knock of 103 from just 63 balls.

Phillips batted the entire innings before being bowled by Cutting off the last ball, striking nine boundaries and six sixes.

He shared in a 70-run second-wicket partnership with Ross Taylor, who made 33, and then added 42 with David Miller (19 not out) to help the Tallawahs up to their eventual total.

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