Antigua Hawksbills’ season of futility in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League continued when they were beaten by the Jamaica Tallawahs by seven wickets under the Duckworth/Lewis method at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica, today.
Batting first after being sent in, the Hawksbills who are yet to win a match struggled to 89 for 9 in 17 overs with Barbadian all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite
top-scoring with 24 before being run-out. Jerome Taylor, bowling a controlled opening burst undermined the Hawksbills with figures of 4 for 18 in three overs.
In response, with rain about, the Tallawahs powered to 91 for 3 in 14 overs with captain Chris Gayle bludgeoning the Hawksbills’ bowlers en route to an unbeaten 36-ball 59. The big left-hander struck two boundaries and six huge sixes.
Ben Dunk and Devon Thomas opened the batting for the Hawksbills and they should have lost Dunk in the very first over bowled by left-arm New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori but the left-handed Aussie was dropped at long-on by David Bernard Jr. while attempting a lofted shot.
The Tallawahs made an early breakthrough, though, when in Taylor’s first over, the fourth of the innings, he breached Thomas’ defence as he sought to make room, and bowled him for 3 to leave the score at 17 for one. With the score on 34 the Hawksbills lost the vital wicket of captain Marlon Samuels when in Taylor’s second over Samuels tried to clear mid-on, failed, and was caught by Andre Russell for 2.
That bad start got worse in Taylor’s third over when he claimed the scalps of Rahkeem Cornwall, batting as high as number 4, and Ben Dunk. Cornwall was trapped on the crease to a ball that moved in off the seam and was lbw for one, while Dunk, after doing the bulk of the scoring, got a leading edge to a rising delivery and watched as Taylor took a brilliant diving catch.
It got worse for the visitors in the next over bowled by Vettori when David Hussey was run-out for 2 after a smart piece of fielding by the substitute at backward point.
The score of 41 for 5 quickly became 48 for six off the first ball of the 12th over bowled by left-arm spinner Nikita Miller. With all of eight overs to go Danza Hyatt failed to assess the situation properly and an ill-advised lofted shot got no further than the safe hands of Russell running in off the boundary.
Twelve runs later Shacaya Thomas, too, returned to the pavilion, compliments of a catch by Gayle at leg slip as the right-hander tried to sweep Miller. The ball bounced more than Thomas had bargained for and he was gone for 12 that included a huge six over long-on off Adam Voges. In the same over Miller accounted for Sheldon Cotterrell whose wild swing resulted in him losing his leg stump and the Hawksbills slumping further to 60 for 8.
Brathwaite all along was the only batsman showing any stomach for the battle and clouted a four off Vettori and a lovely six off Miller before the rain intervened in the 16th over. The steady drizzle turned into a downpour 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.
On resumption, Brathwaite slammed Rusty Theron for another boundary but was then run out the next ball attempting a second run to the fleet-footed Russell whose powerful return found Brathwaite short even as he collided with Tallawahs wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton. Both players needed on-field attention from the medics but were able to continue in the game.
Samuels and Cotterrell opened the bowling for the Hawksbills against Gayle and Walton who waltzed to 37 without loss by the end of the seventh over. Along the way Gayle went after the Hawksbills’ main weapon in Brathwaite striking him for a boundary and two sixes in the sixth over of the innings.
They lost Walton (14) and Jermaine Blackwood (11) to Ben Laughlin, and Cornwall claimed Russell for 1, but Gayle marched on to take the Tallawahs to an easy victory.
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.