BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – Rain, coupled by dashing knocks from Rassie van der Dussen and captain Chris Gayle, powered St Kitts and Nevis to a seven-wicket victory over Jamaica Tallawahs here Sunday night, and into the playoffs of the Caribbean Premier League.
Despite being ahead on run rate, Patriots were facing a tall order of overhauling 207 when the rains intervened in the seventh over at Warner Park, with the score on 65 for one. When the match resumed, the hosts were handed a revised target of 118 from a further 27 balls and van der Dussen (45 not out), Gayle (41) and then Mahmudullah, with an unbeaten 28 from 11 balls, easily put them over the line with five balls remaining.
The victory put Patriots on nine points, securing the last playoff spot and joining reigning champions Trinbago Knight Riders, Guyana Amazon Warriors and Tallawahs in the final four.
Patriots’ success meant that Barbados Tridents, who failed to win any of their home matches which wrapped up on Sunday in Bridgetown, missed out on the playoffs for the third year running along with St Lucia Stars. Earlier, West Indies star Rovman Powell extended his run of good form with a top score of 84 – his second half-century in three outings – as Tallawahs rallied to an imposing 206 for six off their 20 overs.
Opener Glenn Phillips chipped in with 40 while South African David Miller struck 32 as the visitors gathered 66 runs from the final 30 deliveries of the innings.
Sent in, Tallawahs were 42 for two in the seventh over before Powell anchored two stands to get them up to their final score. First, he put on 39 for the third wicket with Phillips who faced 29 balls and struck six fours and a six, before adding a further 79 for the fourth wicket with Miller, who counted two fours and a six in a 20-ball knock.
All told, Powell faced 40 balls and belted 11 fours and four sixes before he was bowled in the penultimate over by seamer Ben Cutting (2-29).
In reply, Patriots lost opener Evin Lewis cheaply for a first-ball ‘duck, bowled off the inside edge by speedster Oshane Thomas in the second over.
However, South African van der Dussen and Gayle combined in a 53-run second wicket stand off 35 balls, which put Patriots on course for their target.
Van der Dussen struck four fours and two sixes off 24 balls while the left-handed Gayle also faced 24 balls and crunched six fours and a couple of sixes.
Unbeaten on 35 at the rain break, Gayle smashed his second six on resumption before holing out to deep point off fellow Jamaican, left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa then bowled a terrific next over which cost just four runs, leaving Patriots on 75 for three in the eighth and facing a required run rate of nearly 14-1/2.
Bangladeshi Mahmudullah arrived to transform the innings, however, bludgeoning two sixes and two fours in the ninth over from Thomas which gushed 27 runs, and left no doubt over the result.