Jamaica Tallawahs just celebrated her second victory in the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) after successfully defending 127 titles to stun Barbados Tridents with five thriller runs at Kensington Oval.
After a largely disappointing effort with the bat, there was little hope for the Tallawah, but the Tridents were halfway behind the required rate, and as the pressure increased, the gates began to fall. Shamar Springer won 3-32 and Imran Khan 3-19 as the Tallawahs unleashed their slender hero CPL playoff hopes with an unlikely victory.
Alex Hales had a positive start to the chase with two Hero Maximums in the third round but fell shortly thereafter to Zahir Khan, who was cleverly caught by Jade Dernbach, who dove to the right of him in the square leg. They were the only sixes against whom the Tridents battled until the 19th when their batting dropped off in the face of the tight bowling of the Tallawahs.
Justin Greaves and JP Duminy fell successively to Imran Khan and Dwayne Smith, while Jonathan Carter (17) and Johnson Charles (31) also went to Springer after their relationship apparently got going again.
At 78/5, the game was back in balance and Trident captain Jason Holder could not back down in his favor when a slugfest from Imran Khan went straight up to be caught by keeper Glenn Phillips.
Springer bounced off Ashley Nurse before Roshon Primus ran past one of Imran Khan’s to become blank as the Tridents found themselves staring down the barrel.
There was still time for another twist: Raymon Reifer smashed 26 of only 12 balls with two fours and two sixes to reduce the goal from a daunting 30 from two overs to much more manageable six of the last three balls. But when he carved Dwayne Smith in deep cover to Springer, the game was over when the Tridents collapsed to an eighth consecutive home defeat in the Hero CPL.
For most of the night, this result seemed so unlikely. Things started to go awry for the Tallawahs in the second inning when Chris Gayle set about giving Jason Holder the first of his two doors.
Chadwick Walton was miraculously caught off guard by a diving nurse in front of Sandeep Lamichhane, but the Tallawahs were not badly placed in the 51-2 win over Glenn Phillips.
Five overs later it was 78/7. George Worker handed JP Duminy a deep cover to Alex Hales before a Dwayne-Smith miscue picked Greaves to give Lamichhane the second wicket of a very impressive spell.
More mature got the big goal of Hero CPL leader Phillips of 2019, after beating two fours in the last three balls and looking more and more confident on 41. Still, it was an inning whose true value would come to light much later in the night.
Imran Khan fell in an identical way to Holder and Javelle Glen drilled a cover drive directly to Duminy.
There was a sort of partnership between Springer and Ramaal Lewis before former Tridents newcomer Harry Gurney took cover. His first Tridents wicket was the deserved reward for inventive and economical magic.
A short but heavy rain forced a delay in the innings, and Lewis came out, a man obsessed with the decisive last nine deliveries of the Tallawah’s innings. He trimmed down two giant sixes in front of Reifer, before carving four more over the extra cover.
He stayed behind in the penultimate ball of the innings for a crucial 27 and Zahir Khan ran out to try a second run of the latter, leaving out the Tallawah’s 127 all. Against the odds, it would be just enough.