Jamaica Tallawahs handed St Lucia Stars their sixth straight defeat in CPL 2017, nudging them to the bottom of the six-team pile with a five-wicket win on Tuesday (August 15). Andre Fletcher and Marlon Samuels hit brisk fifties to help Stars set Tallawahs a challenging 174-run target at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadum, but Andre McCarthy’s unbeaten 61 helped the Kumar Sangakkara-led side register their third win on the trot, with two balls to spare.
Opting to bat first, Stars found themselves in a spot of bother with Johnson Charles and Shane Watson back in the hut in the space of three deliveries to Mohammad Sami, and just 30 runs on the board at the end of the fifth over. However, that paved way for a 103-run stand between Fletcher (84 not out) and Samuels (54) to repair the early damage. While Fletcher was watchful at start, having lost two partners at the other end in quick succession, Samuels went after the attack to take Stars to 69 after half their overs.
Batting on 27 off 25, Fletcher then switched gears to hammer four boundaries and a couple of sixes off the next dozen deliveries he faced, also bringing up his 10th CPL half-century in the process. Samuels followed suit to raise his fifty in the 16th over with his fourth six of the day but failed in his attempt to clear deep midwicket fielder off the very next ball, bringing an end to an entertaining third-wicket stand that put Stars on course for a big total.
Rovman Powell’s big strike resulted in a loss of momentum, following which a collapse ensued, that saw Stars lose four more in a cluster by the end of the 19th over for just 22 more runs. However, Fletcher pounded 16 off Powell in the last over – including two sixes – to ensure the team posted a stiff 173.
Tallawahs’ chase was led by Glenn Phillips at the start and McCarthy, who stayed till the end. With a target of 174 in front of them, Phillips wasted no time and hit three boundaries on the trot off Kyle Mayers to get things going. Off the 43 Tallawahs had on the board at the end of the powerplay, 32 came off the opener’s bat before he departed off the final ball of the sixth over after having set an ideal platform for the middle order.
McCarthy was caught in a terrible mix-up, almost as soon as he arrived in the middle, that could have cost Lendl Simmons his wicket if not for an obscure throw from the fielder. Simmons didn’t let that affect his flow, hammering Timil Patel for a six over square leg boundary but his luck ran out off the next delivery as the attempted inside-out hit went straight to Sammy. Sangakkara hit a couple of perfectly-timed fours but the captain and Powell’s early exits only brought more pressure on the rest of the order.
Jonathan Foo eased the nerves with a blazing start – 17 off 10 – while McCarthy dropped anchor. Samuels and Mitchell McClenaghan, however, squeezed in a tight over each to leave Tallawahs with a tough 56 to get off the final five overs. The game seemed to be drifting away from Stars yet again as Shane Shillingford leaked 12 off the 16th over but Jerome Taylor made up for it by conceding just four in the 17th.
With 40 required off three overs, Tallawahs were dealt with another blow as the returning McClenaghan took out Foo off the first ball of the 18th over. And just as it seemed Stars had the match in the bag, McCarthy decided to go on the offensive. McClenaghan went for 20 in the over, despite the key breakthrough, as McCarthy raised a vital fifty with back to back sixes. All eyes were on Taylor to stem the flow of runs with another tight over but this time he leaked 16 and the result was a forgone conclusion.
McCarthy, who led the chase with a solid half-century, sealed the deal with his fourth six as Tallawahs jumped into the top half of the points table with their third straight victory.
Brief scores: St Lucia Stars 173/7 in 20 overs (Andre Fletcher 84*, Marlon Samuels 54; Mohammad Sami 3-27) lost to Jamaica Tallawahs 179/5 in 19.4 overs (Andre McCarthy 61*, Glenn Phillips 32; Shane Shillingford 1-21) by five wickets.