By Zaheer Mohamed
Led by a sparkling half century from man-of-the-match Kumar Sangakkara the Jamaica Tallawahs breezed past Barbados Tridents by 7 wickets to book their place in the final of the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) T20 tournament last evening in Trinidad an Tobago.
The Tallawahs successfully chased 148 to secure victory with 9 balls to spare on a disappointing night for the Tridents.
Jamaica Tallawahs decision to insert the Tridents in front of another capacity crowd at the Queen’s Park Oval paid dividends when David Bernard Jnr. trapped opener Dwayne Smith leg before for 01 in the second over and Vernon Philander had Jason Holder who was promoted up the order, caught behind by Carlton Baugh for 05 leaving the Tridents in trouble at 6-2. Raymond Reifer and Shoaib Malik steadied the ship nicely with a third wicket stand of 102. Malik dumped Muttiah Muralitharan back over his head for a maximum before hoisting left arm spinner Nikita Miller over wide long on. Reifer was given a let off by Baugh who spilled a difficult chance in Andre Russell’s second over.
He then drove Russell to the cover boundary before pulling him through mid wicket in the said over which cost 13 runs. However, the Tallawahs got the break through when Reifer failed to make his ground and was run out for 36 as he attempted a second run; Reifer faced 43 balls and hit three fours.
Malik was then caught by Chadwick Walton off Gayle’s next delivery for 49 (108-4) which came off 47 balls and contained three sixes and one four. Keiron Pollard and Azhar Mahmood beefed up the Tridents total with a fifth wicket stand of 25.
Pollard drove Philander to the long off boundary before Mahmood dispatched Russell for a six and a four in the next over. However the Tridents suffered a major setback when Pollard was run out in the most unfortunate of circumstances for 13; a drive from Mahmood ricochet off Russell’s booth and disturbed the stumps at the non striker’s end with Pollard backing up.
Kyle Mayers joined Mahmood and ensured their team ended on a respectable 148-6 off their allocation of overs. Mahmood was dismissed off the last delivery of the innings for 14 while Mayers finished on 12*.
Philander was the pick of the bowlers with 2-28 from 4 overs while there was one each for Bernard and Chris Gayle.
Tridents Skipper Pollard opted to open the bowling with off spinner Malik and almost had success, but Mayers floored a dolly at mid wicket offered by Chadwick Walton as the Tallawahs began their reply cautiously.
Mahmood’s second over produced success for the Tridents when Gayle was caught by his opposite number Pollard for 03 with the score on 16 in the fourth over. However Malik’s reintroduction into the attack proved costly, he was dispatched for consecutive boundaries by Walton before Kumar Sangakkara lofted him over the ropes as the pair stabilized the chase. The duo continued to take the attack to the bowlers, dispatching anything too short or full as they kept the score above the asking rate.
Walton made the Tallawahs paid for the putting him down as he plundered five fours and one six en route to 45 off 40 deliveries before he was run out by wicketkeeper Jonathan Carter after missing a delivery down
the leg side at 87-2 in the 12th over.
His dismissal saw the asking rate drop below the required 7.40 per over, but the Tridents wasted another opportunity to put their opponents under some pressure when Raymond Reifer dropped Sangakkara at long leg as the batsman attempted the ‘Dilscoop’.
Hyatt laboured for 18 balls before he was well caught by Pollard for 12 off Mahmood on the long on boundary at 117-3. Russell joined Sangakkara and opened his account with a boundary off Mahmood. He then finished the game in exciting fashion slamming Mahmood for three consecutive sixes, ending unbeaten on 29 (3×6 1×4) off just six deliveries.
Sangakkara who smashed four fours and two sixes was not out on 50 which came off 38 deliveries as the Tallawahs ended on 152-3 in 18.3 overs. Mahmood was the lone wicket taker for the Tridents with 2-37 from 3.3 overs.
The competition climaxes this evening with the Guyana Amazon Warriors who were flawless in the their first semi final win over the Red Steel battling the Tallawahs in the final at the said venue.
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