KINGSTON, Jamaica – Skipper Chris Gayle struck his second consecutive half-century to fire Jamaica Tallawahs to an easy seven-wicket win over luckless Antigua Hawksbills, in a low-scoring encounter at Sabina Park yesterday.
Chasing a paltry 87 for victory under the Duckworth/Lewis method, Tallawahs cantered to their target with 18 balls remaining, after the game was reduced to 17 overs per side following a protracted rain break during the Hawksbills innings.
Gayle, who has already scored a century in the tournament, hammered an unbeaten 59 from a mere 38 balls with two fours and six sixes.
The left-hander put on 44 for the first wicket with Chadwick Walton who scored 14, and a further 33 in an unbroken fourth wicket stand with Adam Voges, who was unbeaten on three at the end.
Australian seamer Ben Laughlin picked up two for 28 to trigger a mini slide where three wickets tumbled for 14 runs, but once Gayle remained at the wicket, Tallawahs were never in any real danger.
Earlier, Hawksbills’ woes continued as they struggled to 89 for eight from 17 overs, after they were sent in.
They were destroyed by the superb Jerome Taylor, who finished with four for 18 from his four overs of pace bowling to earn Man-of-the-Match honours, while left-arm spinner Nikita Miller claimed three for 17.
Carlos Brathwaite top-scored with 24 and opener Ben Dunk got 23 but no other Hawksbills batsman came to the party.
It was Taylor’s spell that set the tone for the Tallawahs’ triumph, as the right-arm pacer took the first four wickets to fall to quickly reduce the innings to rubble at 36 for four in the eighth over.
He bowled Devon Thomas for three in the fourth over as the opener tried to improvise, prised out Marlon Samuels for two to a catch at mid-on by Andre Russell as the captain tried to clear the in-field, before trapping Rahkeem Cornwall lbw for two, with one that swung back.
When he got Dunk into a tangle and took the resulting return catch, Hawksbills were heading downhill fast and Miller only assisted in that demise with his crippling spell.
In reply, Gayle started slowly with five from just 12 balls, but exploded in the sixth over which cost 16 runs, Brathwaite’s first, blasting two huge leg-side sixes and then an off-side boundary.
He moved into the 40s with two sixes off off-spinner Cornwall’s third over and reached his half-century with another six, this time off Laughlin that sailed over lon-on. (CMC)