With 10 points already in the bag, Kieron Pollard’s Trinbago Knight Riders and Dwayne Bravo’s St Kitts and Nevis Patriots are above the fray. Jason Holder’s Barbados Royals (4 pts) remain in the cellar, out of it.
In the middle, however, are the other three teams, all fighting to claim the two places still remaining in Tuesday’s two semi-finals at Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis.
In the evening match on Thursday, the Tallawahs leapfrogged over the St Lucia Kings into third place after mauling them by 55 runs. For the second time this season, Rovman Powell’s side, who took 255 runs off this opposition in their first match-up on 27 August, bludgeoned their way to over 200, swatting no fewer than 15 sixes and 12 fours in getting to 211 all out.
When Powell won the toss and elected to bat first, Man-of-the-Match Kennar Lewis started the ball rolling—flying would be more accurate. He blasted five sixes and five fours to get to his half-century off just 21 balls, the second fastest of the season. His eventual 24-ball 56 saw his team to 91 before the end of the eighth over.
Shamarh Brooks (34 off 29, 2 x 4) and Andre Russell (31 off 15, 4 x 6) would help their side get rapidly within easy reach of the landmark. And then Imad Wasim (27 off 10, 3 x 6, 1 x 4), in his penultimate game this season before he is required to fly out, put a severe 28-run licking on young Kadeem Alleyne in the 20th over to set the Kings an imposing 212 target.
Alleyne finished with 3/53 and Jeavor Royal 3/37.
In reply, Faf du Plessis’ SLK made a fist of it early on, a fruitful 66-run third-wicket partnership between Roston Chase (30 off 17, 2 x 6, 2 x 4) and Mark Deyal (33 off 17, 2 x 6, 3 x 4) getting them over the 100 mark after just eight overs.
But when both set batsmen fell to Carlos Brathwaite off consecutive balls in the next over to leave them on 104 for 4, the chase fizzled and they lost their last six wickets for just 52 runs.
To his eleventh-hour cameo, Imad added bowling figures of 3/34 while Russell and Brathwaite also claimed two wickets each.
On the weekend, TKR and SKNP battle it out on Saturday morning and in the final group game on Sunday evening. Without their injured skipper Dwayne Bravo, kayoed by a groin injury in his team’s first losing effort in six matches against the Kings on 4 September, the Chris Gayle-led Patriots are in danger of slipping down to fourth with two big losses.
In that event, they will meet the Kieron Pollard-led TKR for a third successive time in one of the semis on Tuesday.
Thursday’s result left the two teams involved, along with the Guyana Amazon Warriors, all on eight points from as many games, with four won and four lost. The threesome are currently separated only by net run-rate.
The Tallawahs and GAW play each other twice on the weekend. If one team wins both games, they earn a certain semi-final place. A team losing both could find itself finishing fifth and joining the Royals in the cellar positions.
Theoretically, the table-propping Royals still have a mathematical chance of moving on to the knockout round. Pitted against the Kings, Jason Holder’s side needs to win big twice and hope for a statistical miracle from the JT vs GAW.
The odds of that happening are probably as great as are the chances of a snowstorm interrupting play on the weekend.
Toss: Jamaica Tallawahs
JT: 211 all out (Kennar Lewis 56, Andre Russell 31, Shamarh Brooks 34, Imad Wasim 27, Kadeem Alleyne 3/53, Jeavor Royal 3/37)
St Lucia Kings: 156 all out (Mark Deyal 33, Roston Chase 30, Andre Fletcher 30, Imad Wasim 3/34, Carlos Brathwaite 2/13, Andre Russell 2/34)
Man-of-the-Match: Kennar Lewis (JT)
Result: Jamaica Tallawahs win by 55 runs
Points: JT 2 SLK 0
TEAMS P W L T NR Pts
TKR 8 5 3 0 0 10
SKN/Patriots 8 5 3 0 0 10
J/Tallawahs 8 4 4 0 0 8
St L/Kings 8 4 4 0 0 8
GA/Warriors 8 4 4 0 0 8
B/Royals 8 2 6 0 0 4
FINAL WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Sat 11, 10am: BR vs SLK
Sat 11, 2pm: GAW vs JT
Sat 11, 7pm: TKR vs SKNP
Sun 12, 10am: BR vs SLK
Sun 12, 2pm: GAW vs JT
Sun 12, 7pm: TKR vs SKNP