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CPL 2021: Mayers’ parting shot stuns St Lucia Kings, with Tallawahs poised to pounce

An unexpected result in the morning encounter has spawned uncertainty about just who will be the four teams making it into the Tuesday’s semi-finals. Dwayne Bravo’s St Kitts and Nevis Patriots are safely in as most likely are Kieron Pollard’s Trinbago Knight Riders, who face off in the last of the group matches at 7pm today.

But depending on the outcome of the Guyana Amazon Warriors’ afternoon game against the Jamaica Tallawahs, Faf du Plessis’ St Lucia Kings may well find themselves not making the cut despite having earned themselves 10 points before today’s scheduled three matches.

Photo: Guyana Amazon Warriors bowler Naveen-ul-Haq (left) celebrates the dismissal of St Lucia Kings batsman Roston Chase during CPL action at Warner Park  in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis on 8 September 2021.
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

In the day’s first game, Glenn Phillips and Man-of-the Match Kyle Mayers shared a massive 154-run third wicket partnership to power the already eliminated table-proppers Barbados Royals to a convincing eight-wicket win over the St Lucia Kings.

SUMMARISED SCORES: SLK 190 for 6 (Roston Chase 56, Rahkeem Cornwall 40, Andre Fletcher 31, Kyle Mayers 3/39, Oshane Thomas 2/33)

BR 191 for 2 (Kyle Mayers 81*, Glenn Phillips 80*, Roston Chase 1/35)

Phillips, over the years often a thorn in the side of CPL opposition, had had a very unsatisfying season before Sunday, occasionally getting starts but never able to go on to dominate any attack and get a really big score on the tins. On Sunday, he put all of that behind him, looking in complete command from the time he strode to the wicket.

Suddenly, he was in imperious form, putting his familiar power game on view. Full three-quarters of his unbeaten 39-ball 80 came in the form of nine sixes and two fours.

Photo: Barbados Royals batsmen Kyle Mayers (right) and Glenn Phillips proved to be too much for the St Lucia Kings in CPL action today at Warner Park, St Kitts.
(Copyright CPL T20 Ltd 2021)

But it was Mayers, promoted to the top of the order in the last half of the season, who really was the stabiliser of the innings. He played superbly well, treating all the bowlers with disdain, driving elegantly and cutting furiously to chalk up six sixes and five fours in his 62-ball 81.

The pair had come together after openers Johnson Charles (16 off 1, 1 x 6, 1 x4) and Shai Hope (0 off 0) were dismissed off consecutive balls in the last over of the Powerplay.

Johnson was caught by Jeavor Royal off Roston Chase and Hope was run out at the bowler’s end when Keemo Paul’s direct throw broke the wicket as he started for a quick single and was sent back by Mayers.

Hope remonstrated with his team-mate before trudging reluctantly back to the team bench. It is virtually certain that, by the time Mayers returned in triumph to the pavilion, his attitude had changed. The question on his lips was no longer why did you not take the run but why did you not make those runs earlier in the season.

When the Royals won the toss and invited the Kings to take first strike, it seemed for a while that it was going to be the Kings’ day.

Photo: St Lucia Kings opener Rahkeem Cornwall pulls to leg during CPL 2021 action vs TKR at Warner Park in St Kitts on 31 August 2021.
(Copyright CPL T20 Ltd 2021)

Rahkeem Cornwall (40 off 26) was a man in a hurry, swatting fours and sixes to see his team to 60 by the end of the Powerplay. Acting captain Andre Fletcher was no slouch at the other end, his 31 coming off 28 balls with two sixes and three fours.

Joined by Chase, who was recently selected for the West Indies T20 squad on the basis almost entirely of his performance in the 2021 tournament, Fletcher stayed around long enough to get his team from 62 at the fall of Cornwall’s wicket in the seventh over to within sight of three figures in the 12th.

David Wiese added another 59 runs with Chase for the third wicket but the pair fell within two balls of each other, Chase caught by Nyeem Young and Wiese by Hayden Walsh in over #17, bowled by Oshane Thomas. Thomas ended with 2/33 and Mayers claimed two late wickets to finish with 3/39.

The momentum was lost after that. But they still managed to get within ten runs of the psychological barrier that is 200.

In the event, it proved to be a completely false sense of security.

Photo: Jamaica Tallawahs wicket-keeper Kennar Lewis (right) runs out St Lucia Kings batsman Kadeem Alleyne during CPL action at Warner Park in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nev on 9 September 2021 .
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

As things stand, the defeat can cost the Kings a place in the semis. Should the Jamaica Tallawahs get the better of the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the afternoon game, they will leapfrog the Kings into the last of the four qualifying spots by virtue of their already superior net run-rate, positive 0.216 to the Kings’ negative 0.159.

POINTS TABLE

TEAMS               P         W        L         T         NR      Pts        NRR

SKN/Patriots   9          6          3          0          0       12        -0.299

TKR                     9          5          4          0          0       10          0.719

GA/Warriors   9        5          4          0          0        10          0.041

St L/Kings       10        5          5          0          0          10        -0.159

J/Tallawahs    9        4          5          0          0          8           0.216

B/Royals         10        3          7          0          0            6        -0.520

Photo: Jamaica Tallawahs captain Rovman Powell prepares to smash a delivery for six during CPL action against the St Lucia Kings at Warner Park in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis on 9 September 2021 .
(Copyright Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

SCHEDULE OF REMAINING GAMES

Tues 14, 10am; Semi-final A—1 vs 4

Tues 14, 2.30pm: Semi-final B—2 vs 3

Wed 15: 10am: Final—Winner A vs Winner B

About Earl Best

Earl Best
Earl Best taught cricket, French, football and Spanish at QRC for many years and has written consistently for the Tapia and the Trinidad and Tobago Review since the 1970's. He is also a former sports editor at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express and is now a senior lecturer in Journalism at COSTAATT.

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