An unbroken partnership between Fabian Allen and Keron Cottoy over 94 games in the seventh wicket has brought the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots to victory over Jamaica Tallawahs in the 20-fold Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
The Patriots certainly seemed to be below average when Skipper Carlos Brathwaite finished sixth with only 82 on the board, but Allen launched a controlled and clinical attack on the Tallawahs bowling and found in Cottoy a willing ally who would later decide on all that crucial wicket from Phillips.
Incredibly, Allen and Cottoy were able to add 81 losses without loss in the last five overs of the Patriots innings when the Tallawahs bowlers got lost following exemplary first overs.
Openers Devon Thomas and Evin Lewis were both dismissed within the first three overs, and a promising restoration partnership between Mohammad Hafeez and Laurie Evans ended in a mix-up, and the latter was superbly beaten by Ramaal Lewis.
Hafeez, Shamarh Brooks, and Brathwaite then all fell into the room of 12 balls to oppose the Patriots.
Allen took one or two to play himself but soon exploded into life. He only had 6 runs out of seven balls going into the last five, but he added another 56 runs from just another 20 supplies.
He launched his counterattack by occupying Zahir Khan for four in the 16th, before driving Jade Dernbach high and next for a hero’s best looking good over the distance.
Shamar Springer was swung over the long leg six more times, while Allen took ten in two balls from Dernbach’s 19th when the control of the former English bowler failed him.
Cottoy had been mostly the quiet partner, but had some fun in the final with around over the long leg and ended unbeaten with 27 of 23. However, it was Allen who had the final word after he had the last ball of the innings after a short Bein cuts off for his seventh four to go with three sixes.
The fact that the Tallawahs were approaching was almost exclusively due to Phillips.
He produced an almost lonely hand – no other Tallawah hit a border until the 11th until then Phillips had hit twelve of them – but he just had too much to do.
Each time a wicket fell – and three fell before the score reached 50 – Phillips had an answer. When Gayle succumbed to early pressure from Mohammad Hafeez and Sheldon Cottrell, Phillips completed 18 runs from the four remaining balls. Three times Cottrell was sent offside for four, while a straight-line delivery over the square leg disappeared.
When Chadwick gave Walton Alzarri Joseph a counterattack, Phillips Allen picked up a six and a four in the next.
And when Dwayne Smith turned down Joseph as a midfielder, Phillips found the border twice before it was over.
When Phillips took on Brathwaite in the ninth round for two consecutive Hero Maximums, the scorecard bizarre went awry, with the Tallawahs scoring 79/3 and Phillips 68 from them.
He eventually received support from a somewhat unexpected source, Imran Khan placed the order on number five and made a contribution of 20 to a fourth-wicket partnership of 69, before he offered the deserved Hafeez a counter-measure. The wicket came from his last ball after conceding only 13 goals in his four overs.
This wicket brought Andre Russell to the crease, but this time his stay was only a short one. After settling for the first ball with the big shot, he only managed to send Rayad Emrit to Cottrell in Midwicket to return the initiative to the Patriots.
Phillips finally fell into the next, searching for his sixth heroic maximum of the night, but could not clear Brooks long.
Javelle Glen then drove Emrit directly to a small third party to abandon the lower order and stop the persecution. Despite some big hits from Shamar Springer, it turned out to be outstanding.