Jamaica Tallawahs overcome Raymon Reifer scare for thrilling win
Jamaica Tallawahs 127 (Phillips 41, Lewis 27, Lamichhane 2-17) beat Barbados Tridents 122 for 9 (Charles 31, Reifer 26, Imran 3-19, Springer 3-32) by five runs
Glenn Phillips or nothing. That is the perception Jamaica Tallawahs had built around themselves so far in CPL 2019. All that changed on Monday, after their bowlers came to the party to defend a modest 127, fuelled by Phillips' 41 and a late 22-ball 27 from No. 9 Ramaal Lewis. This helped them beat Barbados Tridents by five runs and notch up their second win in eight games but not before a late scare from Raymon Reifer, whose quickfire 26 brought the equation down to six runs off three deliveries at one stage.
Sandeep Lamichhane, who earlier in the day ended with 2 for 17 in his final CPL game of the season, had the opportunity to hit the final ball for a six and win the game for his side. He couldn't and Tridents slumped to their eighth successive loss at home across seasons. They are, however, still fourth on the points table, one point separating them and the bottom-ranked St Lucia Zouks.
Among those in the crowd were Garry Sobers, the all-time great, and Jofra Archer, the Barbados-born World Cup winner with England. Archer, seen having a keen eye on the contest, would've particularly loved bowling on this Kensington Oval deck, the same one on which England were bowled out for 77 and 246 in a 381-run loss against West Indies earlier this year.
A reprieve and a stunner
Jason Holder had Chris Gayle chop on in the second over to give Tridents a dream start. Things could've been even better for Holder in his second over but Phillips was reprieved on 16 when he top-edged a pull that swirled high only for wicketkeeper Johnson Charles and the slip fielder to leave it to the other even as both ran back for the catch. In the end, neither managed to get a hand on the ball. The missed chance of Charles was somewhat compensated by Ashley Nurse's anticipation at slip. He moved instinctively to his right and Chadwick Walton's thick outside edge to a drive off legspinner Lamichhane stuck in his outstretched right hand.
Phillips, Smith and the late finish
Phillips mellowed down quickly after the top-order wobble, slipping into accumulation mode, but it didn't help that his senior partners kept letting him down. Dwayne Smith, not picked in the draft by the Tridents, had the opportunity to prove them wrong. Having hit three of his four CPL centuries at this venue, he walked in with Tallawahs 51 for 3 and walked off to leave them 55 for 4 after a mistimed pull to deep midwicket to give Lamichhane his second wicket. It was his fourth single-digit score since being summoned as an injury replacement.
Phillips followed suit and soon the innings was on a downward spiral until a rain break, with Tallawahs on 108 for 8 in 18.3 overs, brought about a change in luck. After resumption, Lewis carted left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer for consecutive sixes in the final over, as the last nine balls produced 19 runs. Tallawahs suddenly had something to defend.
Tridents collapse after bright start
Alex Hales took a liking to George Worker's left-arm spin by hitting him for a four and two sixes before Jade Dernbach's brilliant catch at backward square leg terminated Hales' innings in the fourth over. Three balls later, Zahir Khan reprieved Charles at short fine leg, and the Tridents wicketkeeper steadied himself thereafter to make 31. After missing a stumping and fumbling a bit earlier in the day, this could've been a shot at redemption, but Charles, who saw JP Duminy and Jonathan Carter fall around him, failed while attempting a desperate pull. That left Tridents five down, with 50 still to get off 34 balls.
Reifer threatens a heist
Tridents needed 30 from 12 balls. Reifer, whose stance and batting style resembles that of former West Indies wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs, feasted on some loose bowling as Tallawahs went into meltdown mode. Shamar Springer, a hero until that point with figures of 3 for 17 from three overs, got clobbered for two fours and a six in a 15-run over. When he went full, Reifer belted him over long-off. He bowled length, only to be swatted to deep midwicket. Then he tried a slower ball but was forehanded over mid-off.
Smith now had a chance to redeem himself in the final over but saw his second ball smacked out of the ground at deep midwicket. Eight required from four now. Gayle and Walton had in a mini-conference with the bowler. Smith went full, and Reifer took two to long-off. With six needed off three, he bowled full and wide this time, Reifer reached out but holed out to deep cover. That there was the game.