JEROME Taylor showed signs of returning to his best form with a match-winning spell of 4 for 18 to spur the Jamaica Tallawahs on to a seven-wicket win over the still winless Antigua Hawksbills yesterday at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
Taylor ripped through the top order to leave the Hawksbills in a hole at 36 for 4 in the eighth over from which they could not recover.
Tallawahs captain Chris Gayle chose to field first after winning the toss and was rewarded by Taylor’s incisive opening spell.
It began when Devon Thomas edged a ball onto his stumps in the fourth over for 3 and was bookended by Taylor’s athletic one-handed catch off his own bowling to remove Ben Dunk for 23.
Dunk was one of only three players to reach double-figures for the Hawksbills as Nikita Miller picked up where Taylor left off and nabbed 3 for 17 in four overs.
A steady drizzle turned into a downpour with one ball to go in the 16th over and the result was an hour and 40-minute delay with the score on 78 for 8.
The match was reduced to a 17-over affair with the Hawksbills eventually ending on 89 for 9. After Duckworth-Lewis calculations were taken into account, the Tallawahs were set a target of 87 in 17 overs.
Gayle got off to a methodical start, going without a boundary until the sixth over when he targeted Carlos Brathwaite. Gayle smashed back-to-back short balls over midwicket for six as part of a 16-run over to get the wheels in motion.
He lofted Ben Laughlin over long-on for six at the start of the 14th over to bring up his 50 off 32 balls. Gayle’s sixth six, deposited over midwicket on the final ball of the over, ended the match with three overs to spare and ended unbeaten on 59.
The Hawksbills are still mathematically alive for a CPL playoff spot despite their 0-6 record but would need to win their final three games and also have the Barbados Tridents lose their final four contests while also surpassing the Tridents on net run rate. (ESPN Cricinfo)