By Sean Devers in Florida
In association with Carib Beer,
Vnet Communications, Ming’s Services & Products
& Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club
Captained by Man-of-the-Match Chris Gayle and Coached by former Test batsman Phill Simmons, both West Indies rejects, the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (SKNP) who beat the Guyana Amazon Warriors on Saturday for the very first time, showed their fans that the win was no fluke with a thrilling 4-run victory yesterday in their return game in the Hero CPL t20 tournament here in Florida.
At a venue with a capacity of 10,000, a crowd of less than 2,000 watched as Gayle top-scored with an unbeaten 66 from 55 with four fours and two sixes. The big left-hander batted from start to finish and was not his usual dominant self on a slow track which restricted free scoring.
The 37-year-old Gayle shared in a 97-run stand with 22-year-old Brandon King who made 39 from 35 balls with two fours and two sixes but the partnership took 13.2 overs as SKNP were restricted to 132-2 from 20 overs.
Teenage leg-spinner Rashid Khan was the most expensive Warriors bowler (0-34), while off-spinner Steven Jacobs (1-22) was the only wicket taker. The 19-year-old Kemo Paul was the most economical bowler (0-18) as all of the bowlers produced frugal spells.
The Warriors in reply were limited to 128-8 from 20 overs despite Jason Mohamed’s run-a-ball 41 decorated with a four and two sixes and 28 from 25 balls with a four and a six from 29-year-old debutant Gajanand Singh were not enough to see the Warriors home.
Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cotterell (2-28), two runs outs by direct hits from the Keeper Devon Thomas, an absolutely brilliant catch by substitute Fabian Allen to remove Mohammed and careless batting including an ill-advised scoop from Singh, who had his middle stumped knocked out with four to win, helped orchestrate the Warriors’ demise.
The craziness began in the last over bowled by Carlos Brathwaite with six needed and five wickets standing. Singh missed a wide off the first ball and Emrit (1) called for a bye as Thomas dived to his left to run him out with a direct hit.
With five to win from four balls, Singh played a irresponsible scoop, missed and was bowled behind his back after doing all the hard work to bring his team back into the game.
Tanvir sneaked a single from the next ball before Veerasammy Permaul missed a big swing and another direct hit by Thomas saw the end of Tanvir (1) and with four required for a tie, Khan failed to score, to spark wild celebrations from SKNP camp.
Earlier, Warriors won the toss and asked the Tallawahs to bat on the same track used Saturday and on another very hot day Gayle stroked Jacobs for the first boundary off the game in the third over when he worked one through the on-side.
Evin Lewis (4) was deceived by Jacobs and well stumped by Chadwick Walton in the fourth over at 14-1 after struggling to get the ball off the square for 15 deliveries.
Mohammed Hafeez swept Jacobs over backward square leg for six before he was run out for 11 as SKNP slipped to 33-2 in the eight over to bring Brandon King to the crease and he hit Jacobs over long-off for four.
This ground is the largest of the seven venues for this year’s CLP but Gayle made it look small when he clobbered Rashid Khan’s first ball for a towering six over long-on to bring up the 50 in the 12th over to break the shackles the Warriors bowlers had on the batsmen.
King pulled Khan in the air and collected a fortuitous boundary as it hit the diving deep mid wicket on the half volley and trickled for four. Gayle then launched into Khan and lofted him easily over the 80-meter boundary in the 14th over to take him into the 30s.
Paul kept the batsmen in check but Emrit was lofted for six by King, while a brutal pull off Tanvir from Gayle galloped to the mid-wicket boundary and brought up the 100 and his 63rd t20 fifty in the 17th over.
King danced into Khan and deposited him ‘miles’ over his head for a massive six, while Gayle crashed Tanvir for a pugnacious four to wide mid wicket before missing a mighty swing next ball off Tanvir in the penultimate over.
Gayle survived a run out shout as TV replays were inconclusive in the final over, while King was run out going for a suicidal bye as Gayle missed a perfect leg-stump yorker from Emrit who bowled a brilliant last over.
When GAW began their replay without Skipper Martin Guptill, who is troubled by a hamstring problem, Walton (10) pulled Cotterell for the first boundary in the third over before he pulled the Jamaican Solider to square leg at 12-1.
Home boy Steven Taylor (2) was stumped off Samuel Badree without addition to the score while Mohammed swept Badree for four.
Azad was dropped by Hafeez off Hasan Ali. Hafeez floored Mohammed in the next over and Mohammed rode his luck and thumped Ali for six to bring up the 50 stand before Mohammed Nabi removed Azad at 63-3.
Mohammed hit Braithwaite for six before Allen pouched the catch of the tournament when he dived full length to his left and held a marvelous one handed catch to removed Mohammed off Hasan Ali to change the completion of the match and leave the score on 102-4 in the 17th over.
Paul (4) edged Cotterell to the keeper at 115-5 but Singh kept hopes alive with some nice shots and urgent running until he lost his head and lost his wicket as the Warriors lost three wickets for a run to hand Tallawahs what seemed unlikely at the start of the final over.
“Happy independence Jamaica, I still love you. I would like to give credit to the bowlers for pulling this one though for us. We started off slowly but I felt 130-140 should be enough,” said Jamaican Gayle.
“It’s still a long way to go and a lot for us to do. We need to go to the drawing board and think about the future games. I didn’t quite get the momentum in my innings but I am only going to get better from here with my batting,” Gayle said after the win.
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