BEAUSEJOUR, St.Lucia, CMC- Russell smashed an undefeated 47 from 19 balls with three fours and four sixes to pilot Jamaica Tallawahs to a six wicket win over St.Lucia Zouks in match 12 of the Caribbean Premier League played at the Beausejour Cricket Ground here Saturday.
Needing 143 for victory the Tallawahs achieved their target off 17.3 overs. Vernon Philander was not out on 18 off five balls with one four and two sixes. His fifth wicket partnership with Russell yielded 41 runs off 11 balls. Captain Chris Gayle who was the fourth wicket to fall in the second ball of the 16th over hit 40 from 31 balls including two fours and three sixes.
Tallawahs lost Ahmed Shehzad caught behind by Andre Fletcher off Garey Mathurin for 11, Nkrumah Bonner was caught by Darren Sammy attempting to pull Nelon Pascal when he was on five and Danza Hyatt was caught by Fletcher driving at Sammy when 13. Gayle held out to Liam Sebastien at deep mid-wicket off Shane Shillingford as the Tallawahs started their final onslaught.
St.Lucia Zouks, desperate for a victory at home, decided to bat first on winnng the toss. Andre Fletcher , their leading scorer of the competition attempted to cut a ball that was too close to him and Carlton Baught jnr pulled off an easy catch behind the stumps. Fletcher made two runs and the Zouks lost their first wicket with just 10 runs on the board.
Misbah Ul-Haq, promoted to bat at number three for this match pushed outside the off stump to Vernon Philander and was caught at first slip by Chris Gayle for one..
Herschelle Gibbs and Tamim Iqbal brought some stability with a partnership of 48 for the third wicket. Their stand ended when Gibbs went run out for 22. Iqbal then added 52 for the fourth wicket with Darren Sammy, before he was eventually stumped by Carlton Baugh Jnr for 75 in the 18th over. Iqbal faced 62 balls and struck six fours and three sixes.
No other Zouks batsman got into double figures.Vernon Philander was the most successful bowler for Tallawahs with two for 31, while there was a wicket each for Dave Bernard Jnr., Andre Russell and Muttiah Muralitharan.
The result left the Tallawahs in a strong position to qualify for the play-offs with three wins from four matches, while the Zouks are in danger of elimination being at the bottom of the table with two points from five matches losing all their home fixtures in the process.