PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Superstar Chris Gayle’s 18th career Twenty20 hundred condemned title-holders Trinbago Knight Riders to their third defeat in four outings, as Jamaica Tallawahs trounced them by seven wickets here Monday night.
The left-handed Gayle carved out an unbeaten 108 off 54 deliveries – his third Caribbean Premier League century – to power Tallawahs to a challenging victory target of 192 with 10 balls to spare at Queen’s Park Oval.
All told, Gayle smashed six fours and 11 giant sixes – four coming in one over from left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn which went for 30 runs.
He put on 40 for the second wicket with Sri Lankan stroke-maker Kumar Sangakkara who made 20 from 14 deliveries, and anchored a match-winning partnership of 108 for the third wicket with Andre Russell who made 24 from 18 balls.
The Tallawahs captain lived a charmed live, however, surviving chances on five, 54 and then 94, before completing triple figures in dramatic circumstances.
On 94, he clipped pacer Ronsford Beaton into the hands of substitute Anton Devcich on the ropes at wide long on, only for replays to show the bowler had over-stepped.
Recalled to the crease, Gayle then deposited the resulting free-hit straight back overhead to raise his hundred in style.
The victory was the second straight for Tallawahs keeping them unbeaten but the loss for TKR was a huge blow as they completed their home leg with just two points to show from a single win.
They had earlier put themselves in the driver’s seat after being sent in, when they piled up an impressive 191 for four off their 20 overs.
South African opener Hashim Amla top-scored with a dashing 74 off 52 balls while New Zealander Colin Munro followed up his hundred against Guyana Amazon Warriors last Saturday, with a handsome 55 off 39 balls.
Fellow countryman Brendon McCullum broke out of a rut that had seen him gather just 13 runs from his three previous innings, chipping in with a quick-fire 35 from 18 balls, at the top of the order.
He blasted three fours and three sixes, combining with Amla to put on 49 from 33 balls for the first wicket in quick time to give TKR an up tempo start.
McCullum took a liking to Bangladeshi left-arm spinner Shakib al Hasan, taking 14 from the bowler’s first over – the second of the innings – and another 12 in his next over with two sixes.
He missed a cut at left-arm spinner Imad Wasim and was bowled in the sixth over but Amla and Munro the dominated the Tallawahs bowling in a second wicket stand of 103.
While the right-handed Amla struck six fours and three sixes, Munro counted five fours and one six as the pair carried the innings deep.
In reply, Tallawahs then crawled to 21 without loss after five overs, pushing the required rate beyond 11 and increasing the pressure on the innings.
Chadwick Walton’s demise, run out at the non-striker’s end for 13 in the sixth over, proved a blessing in disguise as Sangakkara picked up the pace with a four and a six that eased the tension.
When he was deceived and bowled by off-spinner Sunil Narine in the 10th over, at that stage Gayle had gathered a slow 30 off 24 deliveries, and Tallawahs’ required run rate had climbed to 12.
However, Gayle quickly moved into overdrive. In the 11th over from seamer Javon Searles, he punched a four and two sixes as the over leaked 19 runs and then combined with Russell in the next over, to plunder 22 off medium pacer Kevon Cooper.
The turning point came in the following over from Benn when Gayle crunched the first legitimate delivery for six and then followed up by clearing the ropes with the beanpole Barbadian off the last three balls of the over.
Gayle’s fireworks brought the required run rate down to just over seven, settled the nerves and paved the way for an uncomplicated Tallawahs victory in the end.
H Amla c wkp Sangakkara b Williams 74
B McCullum b Imad Wasim 35
C Munro c wkp Sangakkara b Steyn 55
*DJ Bravo not out 10
J Searles run out 8
Extras (lb4, w5) 9
TOTAL (4 wkts, 20 overs) 191
Did not bat: DM Bravo, K Cooper, S Narine, +Umar Akmal, R Beaton, S Benn
Fall of wickets: 1-49, 2-152, 3-180, 4-191.
Bowling: Imad Wasim 3-0-18-1, Shakib al Hasan 2-0-26-0, Steyn 4-0-56-1 (w2), Williams 4-0-34-1, Powell 4-0-27-0 (w1), Jaggesar 3-0-26-0.
C Walton run out 13
*C Gayle not out 108
+K Sangakkara b Narine 20
A Russell c McCullum b DJ Bravo 24
R Powell not out 12
Extras (lb1, w13, nb1) 15
TOTAL (3 wkts, 18.2 overs) 192
Did not bat: Shakib Al Hasan, Imad Wasim, A McCarthy, D Steyn, K Williams, J Jaggesar.
Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-69, 3-177.
Bowling: Beaton 3.2-0-39-0 (nb1), Narine 4-0-9-1 (w2), Cooper 4-0-43-0 (w2), DJ Bravo 4-0-35-1 (w1), Searles 2-0-35-0 (w2), Benn 1-0-30-0 (w2).
Result: Tallawahs won by seven wickets.
Points: Tallawahs 2, TKR 0.
Man-of-the-Match: Chris Gayle.
Umpires: Z Bassarath, P Gustard; TV – J Cloete.