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Lights out!

Tallawahs condemn St Lucia franchise to 14th-straight CPL loss

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, August 16, 2018

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A man-of-the-match bowling performance by Adam Zampa, backed by a solid half-century from Glenn Phillips, propelled the Jamaica Tallawahs to a fairly comfortable six-wicket win over St Lucia Stars at Sabina Park in match seven of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 tournament on Tuesday.

Zampa's 3-27 from four overs aided the Tallawahs in pulling back the Stars to an above-par score of 175 from their allotment after blistering knocks from Andre Fletcher (43) and Darren Sammy (36) threatened to post an even more daunting target around the 190 mark.

The 26-year-old Australian leg-spinner was supported by young seamer Oshane Thomas (3-39), who picked up wickets at crucial times, including that of Sammy, and unleashed a 24-ball knock which had three sixes and two boundaries.

However, the former Stars captain's rollicking innings, along with Fletcher's 33-ball knock — laced with five fours and two sixes — proved insufficient.

Phillips's 40-ball 58, which had six maximums and two boundaries and Rovman Powell's unbeaten 43 off 23 balls — consisting four sixes and two fours — brought the Tallawahs home at 176-4 with two balls to spare. The hosts' triumph ensured that the St Lucia franchise's winless run in the CPL was extended to 14 games, dating back to July 2016.

Scores: St Lucia Stars 175 all out (20 overs); Jamaica Tallawahs 176-4 (19.4 overs)

With this being their second win in as many games, the Andre Russell-captained Tallawahs moved to the summit of the CPL standings with four points and a better net run rate than Guyana Amazon Warriors, who are also on four points but have played one game more.

Kieron Pollard's Stars, who were suffering their third defeat this season, remain rooted at the foot of the six-team standing without a point.

The Tallawahs' chase was expected to be a tricky one on a grass-top pitch which had bounce and carry for the seamers, and also offered spin and purchase to the slower bowlers.

But Philips was in no mood to relent, caressing the first ball of the chase over the cover fielder for a boundary and followed up with two more boundaries in the same over off Mitchell McClenaghan to set the tone.

The New Zealander dominated an 81-run opening stand with Johnson Charles, who played a supporting role, as Phillips earlier hammered 16 runs off the Qais Ahmad's first over, pushing the Tallawahs to 57 without loss after the opening six powerplay overs.

Charles also had his fair share of fun smashing four boundaries and a six in a 20-ball knock of 31 before a quick inswinger from left-arm orthodox Hodge rattled his stumps.

Wicketkeeper/batsman Phillips fell shortly after bringing up his second CPL half-century when Obed McCoy had him caught by Kesrick Williams with the Tallawahs at 100-2 in the 12th over.

There was a brief period of calmness for the Tallawahs as Andre McCarthy, who was dropped by Lendl Simmons, took his time to get going, scoring 20 off 23 balls with two boundaries and a six.

When he eventually went, caught by Pollard off McClenaghan, Powell came to life with a brutal show of power, taking McCoy to the task with three fours and a six in the 19 runs that came off the 16th over which swung things back in favour of the Tallawahs.

Simmons, who had a miserable night in the field, also dropped Powell at long on off the third ball of 18th over bowled by Pollard. But the former Tallawahs representative redeemed himself by holding on to a chance from Russell (three).

With eight runs to get from the last over, Tallawahs were a bit shaky in the end, but the experienced Ross Taylor (eight not out) hit a six over midwicket, followed by the winning single from a misfield after earlier facing two dots.

Earlier, the Stars, who won the toss and took first strike, were still on a solid platform at 54-1 after the six powerplay overs despite the loss of Australian David Warner (seven), whose poor run of form continued when he was bowled by Thomas in the second over.

Fletcher and Lendl Simmons gave their team a chance to snap a lengthy winless run, with a 54-run second-wicket stand which used up a mere 37 balls.

Simmons hammered two maximums and one boundary in his 16-ball 22, before Russell banged one in short and hurried him into a cut shot which was skied for Johnson Charles to take coming in from deep cover.

Even then, the Stars maintained a steady run rate at 85-2 after 10 overs as Fletcher, who was earlier put down by Andre McCarthy at square leg off Thomas's bowling, took the attack to the Tallawahs bowlers. He eventually holed out to Russell at long off in giving Zampa his 100th T20 wicket.

The Australian bagged a second in the same over when he delivered a magical googly cleaned up left-hander Mark Chapman for a duck, leaving the Stars at 89-4 after 11 overs.

Captain Pollard fired two boundaries and a six in a quick 26 from 22 balls, adding 36 for the fifth wicket with Sammy, but later became Zampa's third victim when he mistimed one and was caught by Ross Taylor at mid-off.

Thomas gradually pulled the initiative back in favour of Tallawahs with the wickets of Sammy, caught by Taylor and Mitchell McClenaghan in consecutive deliveries, but got over-enthusiastic with the hat-trick delivery and was whacked by Kavem Hodge.

Santokie accounted for Qais Ahmad (seven), caught by Russell at the other end, before Hodge in his 8-ball 21, which included three boundaries and a six off Russell in the final over, propelled the Stars to what seemed a competitive total. But it wasn't enough in the end.

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