PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Jamaica edged Leeward Islands in a nail-biter, pulling off an exciting win via the super-over to move into contention for a playoff spot in the Caribbean Twenty20 here Friday night.
In another low-scoring contest that swung this way and that, the Jamaicans held their nerve when it mattered most, after scores were tied at the end of both innings at Queen’s Park Oval.
Opting to bat, Jamaica posted 110 for eight off their 20 overs with Danza Hyatt (39) and captain Tamar Lambert (34) proving the catalyst for the innings. Burly off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall snared thee for 10 in an outstanding four-over spell.
In reply, Leewards rallied through Cornwall (28 not out) and Devon Thomas (26 not out) after a middle order slump, scoring 12 runs off the last over to sensationally level the scores to force the decisive super-over.
Once there, however, they lost their mettle and managed to scrape together just two runs. Andre Russell then wasted little time in wiping out the deficit, banging the first ball of Jamaica’s over to the mid-wicket boundary to hand his side their second victory on the trot.
Jamaica are now level on nine points with leaders Trinidad and Tobago but have played one more game while Leewards remained rooted to the bottom without a win in three outings.
The result was a huge blow for the Leewards who had their best outing of the campaign.
Leg-spinner Anthony Martin’s maiden over first up set the tone for the innings and off-spinner Justin Athanaze followed up well, bowling John Campbell as the left-handed opener played back to the seventh ball of the innings.
Lambert and Nkrumah Bonner (10) added 42 for the second wicket, with Lambert taking the attack to the bowlers with three fours and a straight six off Athanaze.
When Bonner fell to a catch in the deep off Cornwall in the ninth over, Lambert added another 20 for the third wicket with Hyatt before also holing out off Cornwall in the 13th over.
Hyatt then shepherded the innings, striking three fours and one six off 36 balls, before he was run out off the last ball of the innings.
The Leewards again lost Test opener Kieran Powell cheaply at nine for one in the third over but opener Javia Liburd (24) and Tonito Willett (18) repaired the damage with a 40-run, second wicket partnership.
Willett and Chesney Hughes (2) fell in the 12th over to leg-spinner Odean Brown (2-10) as four wickets tumbled for 15 runs in 20 balls, leaving the Leewards stumbling at 64 for five at the end of the 15th over.
Cornwall and Thomas then staged a recovery, adding 46 off 30 balls in an unbroken sixth wicket stand.
While Thomas failed thumped two sixes off 22 balls, Cornwall counted four fours and a six – an invaluable straight hit off Russell off the penultimate ball of the innings that put Leewards in with a chance.