It was anticipated to be an epic battle between the two most successful teams in the seven-year history of the CPL T20 cricket.
Defending Champions and three times winners Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) and two-times Champions Jamaica Tallawahs (JT) clashed last night at Sabina Park and when the dust had settled TKR had extended their winning streak to four with a 41-run win in a record breaking run.
The Jamaicans suffered their second loss on home turf to remain pointless from four matches and the win was the seventh by TKR from 15 matches against the Tallawahs.
TKR smashed 171 runs in the last overs to reach 267-2; the highest total in Franchise cricket.
TKR was led by Man-of-the-Match South African Colin Munro who smashed a belligerent unbeaten 96 from 50 balls with six fours and eight sixes and shared in an unfinished 96 third wicket stand with new West Indies ‘White ball’ Captain Kieron Pollard who clobbered four fours and three sixes in a 17-ball 45.
Lendl Simmons capitalised on being dropped thrice and caught twice off no-balls to hit his 13th CPL fifty and second in a row with an explosive 42-ball 86 with eight fours and five sixes as he added 55 for the first wicket with Sunil Narine who made 20.
Twenty-year-old Afghanistan left-arm wrist spinner Zahir Khan took 1-42 from three overs.
On good track and fast outfield in a game marred by poor catching and seemingly inadequate flood lights, Tallawahs reached 226-5 as Chris Gayle who made 39 from 24 balls and Glen Phillips, who made 58 on Thursday night, added 88 in 7.2 overs after 67 came in the six Power-Play overs. Phillips hit back-to-back fifties making 62 from 32 balls.
Gayle missed a big swing and was bowled by Mohamed Hasnain (2-52 from 4 over) before Chadwick Walton (6) fell eight runs later but Phillips kept going until he was deceived by a slower ball from Pollard at 166-3 after Chadwick Walton (6) had departed at 96-2.
And despite some big hitting, when Rovman Powell was forced to retire with abdominal pain it was all over bar the shouting.
George Worker (18) provided Hasnain with his second scalp and Green (15) was bowled by Narine who was clobbered for three consecutive sixes.
Lewis, who finished on 37 from 15 balls and Jevelle Glen, who made 33 from 24 balls, continued to entertain the large crowd with some lusty hitting to take Tallawahs past 225 in a losing effort.
TKR won the toss and Simmons swiveled and pulled Green before he bowled a bouncer to Narine which sailed over the Keeper’s head for four.
Jerome Taylor’s ‘no-ball’ problem from the previous night continued and when he overstepped with his first ball of the night and the free-hit was flicked for four by Simmons.
Narine was peppered with quick short balls while Green also utilised his two bouncers per over and after swishing and missing, Narine upper-cut a wide ball over the point boundary before clipping the next one past mid-wicket for four.
Simmons whipped Taylor audaciously behind square for four and another Taylor no-ball saw Simmons taken at mid-on.
Narine got a top edge to a big swipe before smashing Oshane Thomas one-bounce to cover for consecutive boundaries to post the fifty in 4.4 overs.
Simmons got a fortuitous boundary to end an expensive first over from Thomas who had 3-36 the previous night but leaked 63 runs last night.
Khan was introduced and Narine missed a full ball and was bowled at 55-1 before Munro, the leading run scorer in last year’s CPL, got going with a slash to the cover boundary before hitting Khan for six as 65 runs were conceded in the Power-play.
Simmons pulled Khan for six but while the other pacers banged it in short, Powell bowled six yorkers in his first over.
Simmons greeted off-spinner Ramaal Lewis with a huge six before he was dropped by Taylor as his bad night continued before Simmons was again dropped to the dismay of Lewis.
Munro drove Powell for four to post the 50 partnership after the 100 had come up in the 10th over.
Simmons and Monro continued to score freely with Munro lofting Powell into the stands for six and without Andre Russell and Shemar Springer, Tallawahs were under pressure.
A six off Khan brought up Munro’s 50 and he celebrated with a reverse swept four to bring-up the 150 before Simmons deposited Khan into orbit to post the 100 stand.
Simmons then went on a rampage; plundering Thomas for four consecutive boundaries before being caught off a free hit to trigger a comedy of errors which climaxed with Simmons being run out looking for a third run at 179-2 in 14.4 overs.
Munro clobbered Green for consecutive sixes before Pollard swung a Taylor no ball for six and Taylor’s fourth no ball of the night saw Pollard being dropped as the sloppy catching continued.
In the last over Munro cover drove Green for four to move to 94 with three balls left before he copped a ‘beamer’ on his hand as he took evasive action and Pollard took a single from the free-hit leaving Munroe to hit a six for three-figures.
He just got a single but getting the record total was like asking a turtle to reach the summit of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica.
The tournament continues to tonight from 20:00hrs when four-times runners-up, Guyana Warriors face-off with St Kitts & Nevis Patriots at Warner Park in St Kitts. (Sean Devers)
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