King relieved with first win as Tallawahs captain
GROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC) – Opener Brandon King struck a precious half-century in his first game as Jamaica Tallawahs captain to repel a gutsy all-rounder effort from Roston Chase, as the reigning champions held their nerve to beat St Lucia Kings by 11 runs here late Wednesday.
In the first game of the new Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season, the right-handed King carved out 81 from 55 balls to help dig Tallawahs out of trouble at 63 for three in the ninth over, and lift them to 187 all out off their 20 overs, after off-spinner Chase had triggered a wobble with his three for 39.
In reply, Kings were floundering at 104 for five at the end of the 14th over before Chase countered with a top score of 53 off 31 deliveries, an effort which made the finish closer than anticipated in the end, with help from Roshon Primus who blasted 37 from 20 balls.
“I’m just relieved to get the first win, to be honest. Obviously I’ve got an important role at the top of the innings for my team so I’m just glad I could contribute in that way in the first game of the CPL,” said King, who lashed an unbeaten half-century last weekend for West Indies against India in Florida.
“At a certain point, you have to play the situation so you know if wickets are falling like that in a small period of time you have to try and build a partnership and get some momentum. That’s all I tried to do and it worked out.”
Sent in at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, Tallawahs were handed a solid start by King and rookie Test left-hander Kirk McKenzie (20), the pair posting a rapid 44 from 31 deliveries.
Once McKenzie holed out to mid-on off the first ball of Chase’s spell, wickets tumbled with Shamarh Brooks (12) and Amir Jangoo (0) going cheaply.
King rebuilt the innings, however, punching nine fours and three sixes and dominating a 77-run, fourth-wicket stand with Raymon Rreifer (16), before a clatter of wickets towards the end saw the last seven wickets tumble for 47 runs.
“If you look at the ground, [a total of] 186, 187 felt ten, 15 runs too many,” said Kings skipper Faf du Plessis.
“Obviously you have to give credit to Brandon King the way he played, it was a great innings. He was that one batsman that you could see that if one guy just stuck in a little bit, it was a little bit easier [to score].”
Johnson Charles then struck a chancy 24 from 22 balls, first in a 25-run, opening stand with du Plessis (9) and then in a 22-run, second wicket partnership with Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams (22).
Both du Plessis and Charles holed out in the deep attempting to hasten the scoring, leaving Williams to add 33 for the third wicket with Chase before he too perished, miscuing off-spinner Chris Green (2-28) to short third man.
Williams was part of a cluster of three wickets to fall for just 14 runs thanks to left-arm spinner Imad Wasim (3-27) but Chase led a daring recovery, belting four fours and three sixes, and inspiring a 61-run, sixth-wicket stand with Primus who counted four fours and two sixes.
Anything was possible with 19 required from the final over but Pakistan seamer Salman Irshad (2-39) bowled Chase with the first ball and then conceded only seven runs.