Allen, Hafeez consign Tallawahs to another defeat as Phillips fifty goes in vain

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 176 for 6 (Allen 62*, Hafeez 37, Smith 1-8) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 156 (Phillips 87, Emrit 2-21, Cottrell 2-33, Joseph 2-37) by 20 runs

Jamaica Tallawahs ended their series of home games with a defeat, losing by 20 runs to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at Sabina Park. Patriots rode on Fabian Allen’s 27-ball 62 to reach 176 for 6 from 82 for 6, after which their bowlers combined to strangle Tallawahs, dismissing them for 156.

Glenn Phillips was the only Tallawahs batsman to make a worthy contribution, scoring a 49-ball 87 to become the highest run-getter this season, but, with eight other single-digit scores in the innings, Phillips had little support in the chase. Tallawahs’ defeat was their sixth in seven games, while Patriots, with eight points, are in the battle for a top-two finish with Trinbago Knight Riders, who have played three fewer matches.

Honours shared in first ten overs Having been put in to bat, Patriots lost openers Evin Lewis and Devon Thomas by the third over, but a tidy 46-run third-wicket stand between Laurie Evans and Mohammad Hafeez helped them recover. Tallawahs’ bowlers rode on the back of some early swing with the new ball, and Dwayne Smith, particularly, troubled the batsmen early on, his lack of pace forcing them to manufacture shots.

Hafeez then struck four fours off Shamar Springer in the seventh over to break the shackles, and that boost brought them on even terms with Tallawahs. At the end of 10 overs, Hafeez had crunched five fours and a six but in the next over for 37, after toe-ending a drive to cover. At that stage, the scoreboard read 76 for 4.

Allen rescues Patriots after middle-order wobble

Over the next two overs, Shamarh Brooks was trapped lbw by Zahir Khan, and Carlos Brathwaite was out slicing a catch to cover. At 82 for 6, the Patriots innings seemed destined for a quick finish but Fabian Allen, batting at No. 7, had other ideas.

Batting alongside No. 8 Keron Cottoy, Allen took on Afghanistan left-arm wristspinner Zahir Khan, shellacking 16 runs off the 16th over. The next two overs – off Jade Dernbach and Springer – yielded 13 and 18 runs respectively, and included two fours, two sixes and a dropped chance to reprieve Cottoy.

Dernbach’s final over, the penultimate of the innings, went for another 20 runs, with Allen reaching his half-century off 23 balls. The run-spree of the final overs was capped by a 14-run over to end the innings, and from 82 for 6, Patriots climbed to 176. The unbeaten Allen-Cottoy partnership was worth 94, of which 81 runs came off the final five overs.

Varied fortunes for Phillips and Tallawahs

The 22-year-old New Zealand batsman took charge of the Tallawahs chase after opener Chris Gayle was out in the third over, trying to pull one over cow corner. The very next ball, Phillips crunched Sheldon Cottrell for a drive through the covers and followed it up with three more boundaries off successive deliveries to collect 18 off the over. Phillips did not slow down even after Tallawahs lost Chadwick Walton’s wicket, and had raced to a half-century by the eighth over, taking 25 balls to reach the landmark. When Phillips reached 50, his team’s score was 60 for 3, headlining the ease with which he scored, even as his team-mates struggled.

Phillips then raced into the sixties by hitting Brathwaite for a four and two sixes in the ninth over, taking 17 runs off the Patriots’ captain. However, Tallawahs were tied down again by tidy second spells from Hafeez and Joseph. Imran Khan, the leg-spinning allrounder, was having a difficult time rotating the strike, and Hafeez prised his wicket out with a caught-and-bowled dismissal in the 14th over. He ended the innings with remarkable returns of 1 for 13 in four overs. The next over saw Andre Russell fall a first-ball duck, trying to pull Rayad Emrit, and the pressure of the chase and lack of support, finally took a toll on Phillips.

Looking to target Cottoy in the 16th over – with the required run-rate around 12 – Phillips holed out to long-on for a 49-ball 87that included eight fours and five sixes. At that stage, he had scored 71% of the Tallawahs’ runs.

At 123 for 6, Tallawahs needed a near-miracle from their lower order to pull off the chase, especially with the pitch slowing as the evening progressed. Springer entertained, with a few lusty blows, and Tallawahs entered the final over with 25 needed and three wickets in hand. Brathwaite’s accuracy stifled them, however, and they lost all three wickets, including a run-out, in five balls