GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Title-holders Jamaica Tallawahs completed a scratchy five-wicket victory over St Lucia Kings, to advance in the play-offs of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) here Tuesday night.
Playing in a humdrum eliminator at the Guyana National Stadium, Tallawahs easily chased down 126 to set up a meeting on Friday with the winners of the second play-off fixture between hosts Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders which was set for late Wednesday.
Tuesday's contest was a low-scoring one, Kings managing only 125 for nine from their 20 overs, after left-arm spinner Fabian Allen wrecked the innings with a spell of four for 25.
Roston Chase battled to a top score of 40 from 36 balls, but was the only one to pass 20 as Kings lost six wickets for 45 runs to suffer a meltdown at the back end.
In reply, Captain Brandon King struck 30 in a 43-run, opening stand off 25 deliveries with Englishman Alex Hales (24), which laid the foundation for the successful chase.
When three wickets tumbled for 30 runs, left-hander Raymon Reifer struck a controlled unbeaten 30 from 32 balls to see his side over the line.
"It's similar to last year — we're playing our best cricket at this time. I'm very pleased with that. The fellas really came out and did well," King said.
"I think the bowlers made it really easy for us. It wasn't the easiest wicket to bat on but that's why we decided as openers if we got a really good start, it would make the rest of the chase that much easier and it paid off for us."
The defeat ended Kings' topsy-turvy run in the tournament. They qualified after finishing third in the play-offs but never looked in contention in the crucial play-off game.
"Today was just tough. We didn't think the conditions would be as spin-friendly because none of the games we've seen previously were this spin-friendly," said Kings Captain Sikander Raza.