King pleased with Tallawahs play-off cricket
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):
JAMAICA TALLAWAHS captain Brandon King is happy to see the defending Caribbean Premier League champions finally getting into a groove, especially after a less-than-ideal start to the season.
Tallawahs completed a messy five-wicket victory over St Lucia Kings, to advance in the play-offs on Tuesday night.
Playing in a humdrum eliminator at the Guyana National Stadium, Tallawahs easily chased down St Lucia Kings’ 126 to set up a meeting on Friday with the winners of last night’s second play-off fixture between hosts Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders.
“It’s similar to last year – we’re playing our best cricket at this time. I’m very pleased with that. The fellas really came out and did well,” said King.
“I think the bowlers made it really easy for us. It wasn’t the easiest wicket to bat on but that’s why we decided as openers, if we got a really good start, it would make the rest of the chase that much easier and it paid off for us.”
The contest was a low-scoring one, Kings managing only 125 for nine from their 20 overs, after left-arm spinner Fabian Allen wrecked the innings with a spell of four for 25.
Roston Chase battled to a top score of 40 from 36 balls but was the only one to pass 20 as Kings last six wickets fell for 45 runs.
In reply, King struck 30 in a 43-run opening stand with Englishman Alex Hales (24), which laid the foundation for the successful chase.
That partnership took just 25 deliveries.
When three wickets tumbled for 30 runs, left-hander Raymon Reifer struck a controlled unbeaten 30 from 32 balls to see his side over the line.
The defeat ended Kings’ topsy-turvy run in the tournament. They qualified after finishing third in the run-in to the playoffs but never looked in contention in the crucial playoff game.
“Today was just tough. We didn’t think the conditions would be as spin-friendly because none of the games we’ve seen previously were this spin-friendly,” said Kings captain Sikander Raza.
“But I still believe, no matter what the conditions are, you can’t fight the conditions but you’re going to have to make a plan and I just thought we sat on the back foot for far too long before taking the game to the opposition, and that cost us the game.”
Sent in, Kings found themselves on 38 for three in the eighth over after off-spinner Chris Green struck twice before Chase tried to rally the innings, first in a 21-run, fourth-wicket stand with Shadrack Descarte (4) and then in a 29-run, sixth-wicket stand with Raza (19).
When both Raza and Chase fell to Allen in the 16th over, Kings were without anyone at the back end to provide the required momentum.
Tallawahs set about the small target positively, King lashing a 19-ball cameo which included three fours and two sixes and Hales supporting with three fours and a six in a 17-ball knock.
Fast bowler Matthew Forde then rattled Tallawahs with an incisive burst of four for 23, bowling both King and Steven Taylor (0) with successive deliveries in the fifth over, as the chase slid to 73 for four.
Reifer stabilised the innings, however, striking a four and a six in a 42-run, fifth-wicket stand with Imad Wasim (15) to put his side in sight of victory.