The Patriots being the home team, after Wednesday evening’s events at Warner Park in St Kitts, the Caribbean Premier League may well find itself accused of condoning domestic violence.
Led by Sherfane Rutherford’s third half-century and with a late 12-ball 30 from Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo’s high-flying troops beat the stuffing out of Rovman Powell’s powerful Jamaica Tallawahs unit. And the scores of home fans, allowed back at live cricket for the first time in some time, danced and sang and generally lapped up the sporting treat as their home boys coasted to a six-wicket win.
The 23-year-old Rutherford (50 not out, 4 x 6, 2 x 4), who came into the game with an average of 125 after an unbeaten half-century in his last innings, was nothing short of brutal. He pummelled Fidel Edwards out of the attack, taking 24 off his second over. But no bowler escaped his cudgel, Migael Pretorius, Andre Russell and skipper Powell all disappearing over the ropes at different stages.
He added 25 with Evin Lewis and another 42 with Ravi Bopara. And when Edwards bowled the Englishman off his pads, the Guyanese left-hander was joined by Allen, whose approach suggested that he had a pressing appointment.
Coming together at 114 for four in over #15, the pair overhauled their 166 target with two balls left in the 18th over.
Earlier, put into bat, the Tallawahs had begun steadily and eventually posted a healthy 166 for 8, getting solid contributions from Carlos Brathwaite (27 off 16 balls, 2x 6, 2 x 4), Chadwick Walton (26 off 25, 3 x 4), who pulled up lame and was forced to retire, and Powell (24, 2 x 6, 1 x 4).
With their line-up of power-hitters, the Tallawahs looked at one stage to be capable of posting a really big total. But Patriots captain Bravo took two return catches, held another on the boundary and had a late-order batsman caught by the wicket-keeper to neutralise the Jamaican threat.
And after Lewis (39 off 27, 4 x 6, 2 x 4) and Devon Thomas (12 off 17, 2 x 4) raced to 42 off just four and a half overs before being separated, the stage was set for the in-form Rutherford and Allen to play themselves.
It is doubtful whether, despite the onslaught, either player will be charged for battery. Bu Patriots are set to take on the struggling Barbados Royals in Thursday’s evening game.
Jason Holder’s side has not been having things their way. As things stand, barring an extraordinary turnaround in form, they seem to already have one foot out the door and their opponents, the Patriots, one foot in the semi-final.
Should the result of today’s late game between them go, as expected, in favour of the motoring table-toppers, it would be easy to visualise the door slamming shut with the Patriots inside and the Royals on the outside.
In the Thursday morning game, fresh from their exciting Super Over win over the defending champions TKR yesterday Nicholas Pooran’s Guyana Amazon Warriors reverted to type.
Set 150 by Faf du Plessis’ St Lucia Kings to secure a third win and consolidate their position in the top half of the table, they collapsed to 16 for 4 early on and finished two short of 100.
That leaves the Kings currently in joint second position on points—they have the same number of points as TKR and GAW and JT and have played fewer games—but in fifth when net run rate is factored in.
It is probably no exaggeration to say that at least one of the top four places is already sealed.
And by Saturday, when the Kings play the Patriots and the Royals take on the Warriors, we may well have a much better sense of who will be watching the Tuesday 14 September semis from the sidelines.
Toss: St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Jamaica Tallawahs: 166 for 8 (Carlos Brathwaite 27, Chadwick Walton 26 ret’d hurt, Rovman Powell 24, Dwayne Bravo 3/25, Paul van Meekeren 2/27, Dominic Drakes 2/40)
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots: 169 for 4 (Sherfane Rutherford 50, Fabian Allen 30*, Evin Lewis 29, Andre Russell 1/31, Migael Pretorius 1/38, Fidel Edwards 1/46)
Man-of-the-Match: Sherfane Rutherford (SKNP)
Result: SKNP win by six wickets
Points: SKNP 2 JT 0
TEAMS P W L T NR Pts
SKN/Patriots 4 4 0 0 0 8
J/Tallawahs 4 2 2 0 0 4
TKR 5 2 3 0 0 4
GA/Warriors 5 2 3 0 0 4
St L/Kings 4 2 2 0 0 4
B/Royals 4 1 3 0 0 2