Russell blitz takes Jamaica home
Jamaica Tallawahs 146 for 4 (Russell 47*, Gayle 40) beat St Lucia Zouks 142 for 7 (Tamim 75) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Andre Russell blitzed four sixes in a 19-ball 47 to take Jamaica Tallawahs home with 15 deliveries to spare against St Lucia Zouks after the asking-rate had touched 11. The win lifted Jamaica to second position on the points table behind Barbados Tridents, while St Lucia stayed at the bottom after their fourth loss in five matches.
Chasing 143, Jamaica were 66 for 3 in the 13th over when Russell walked in. St Lucia had begun with spin from both ends, and although Shane Shillingford proved expensive, Garey Mathurin gave only 11 in four overs. In his second over, he had Ahmed Shehzad caught behind on the cut and thereafter, kept both Chris Gayle and Nkrumah Bonner quiet. While Gayle kept picking Shillingford for boundaries, Bonner was completely tied down. His struggle ended at 5 off 19 when he saw the fast bowler Nelon Pascal being introduced and top-edged a pull off his first delivery. Now it was the turn of the seamers, led by Darren Sammy, to squeeze Jamaica. Danza Hyatt was the next man to stall the chase further, taking 22 balls for his 13 before Sammy had him caught behind.
Russell came in and in the next over, slashed and pulled Albie Morkel for successive fours. Sammy disappeared for sixes over deep midwicket and long-off in the 15th. The St Lucia captain turned to spin again, but Gayle had already hit Shillingford for a couple of sixes before, and now he launched him over deep midwicket. However, the Jamaica captain holed out to the same position off the next delivery to depart for 40 off 31. Jamaica still needed 38 off 28.
Vernon Philander, who isn't preferred for the limited-overs formats by South Africa, took charge in the 17th over. He hit Pascal for three successive boundaries - a top-edged four to third man and sixes over long-on and deep midwicket - to surge to 18 off just 5. Jamaica had taken 61 off the last four overs, and needed only 12 from the final three overs. Russell needed three deliveries to finish it, pulling and cutting Morkel for sixes to boost Jamaica's net run-rate.
Philander had taken two crucial wickets as well after St Lucia chose to bat. He had Misbah-ul-Haq caught at slip early and later had Sammy holing out in the deep for 26 off 18. Herschelle Gibbs made a slow 22 and it was only due to Tamim Iqbal's steadying 75 that St Lucia were able to post 142. Tamim could have got St Lucia a few more runs, but he was stumped off Muttiah Muralitharan in the 18th over. He hit nine boundaries in his 62-ball knock, but had little support.