Jamaica Tallawahs exacted revenge for their bungled chase in Florida exactly one week earlier, with a five-wicket win over Barbados Tridents thanks to a sterling bowling effort spearheaded by Oshane Thomas. They are now the sole team at the top of the points table.
Thomas' yorkers wreaked havoc on Tridents in the Powerplay and at the death as the hosts were held to a well-below par total of 151 for 9 after being sent in.
Johnson Charles began peppering the fence on the legside in his first fifty of the season and the seventh fifty-plus score by a Tallawahs batsman this year to give the Tallawahs early momentum in their chase. Wahab Riaz did his best to drag the Tridents back as the Tallawahs failed to score a boundary for five overs following the end of the Powerplay but Rovman Powell came in at No. 4, following the wicket of Charles, and produced a breezy 35 not out to seal the victory.
No doubting Thomas
Tridents had already suffered the loss of Hashim Amla - lbw missing a sweep to Samuel Badree in the second over - when Thomas bowled one of the balls of CPL 2018. Shai Hope was on strike when a heat-seeking, outswinging yorker nearly knocked him off his feet as it crashed into the base of off stump. That was only the start of another long night for the Tridents, who slumped to 56 for 5 when rain took the teams off in the 10th over.
Thomas put his stamp on the tail too. Coming back towards the end of the innings, he cleaned up Wahab with another laser-guided missile into the base of the stumps. Seven different bowlers took wickets on the night for the Tallawahs, but Thomas still managed to stand out.
After totalling just 26 runs in four innings, including two ducks, Martin Guptill was dropped by the Tridents in the previous match against Trinbago Knight Riders. But his replacement - Shamar Springer - ran himself out first-ball during the course of a heavy defeat. Seeing how Plan B had failed, the team management brought Guptill back into the XI and the result was the second-highest score by a Tridents batsman this season.
Guptill was the only batsman in the top six to reach double-figures, ending with 73 off 60 balls, including a 60-run sixth-wicket stand with Imran Khan. He struck some impressive blows, launching Colin de Grandhomme's first CPL delivery onto the Kensington Oval roof to start the sixth over, and flicking Powell over long leg for another lost ball in the 18th. One ball later though, he pulled Powell to Andre Russell at long-on and Tridents' last hope for a strong finishing kick was back in the pavilion.
Charles in charge
In 2016, Charles and Andre Fletcher formed a menacing opening combo to take the St Lucia franchise to their only playoff appearance in the CPL. He struck four fifties that year. Having ransacked 441 runs, he finished second on the top-scorer's list just 13 behind Chris Lynn. Last season, however, was a major struggle, leading to a change of scenery with the Tallawahs.
Charles had always been threatening to break free this year, with scores of 24, 31, 42 and 34 in his four innings, and finally went past fifty on Wednesday, capitalising on some very poor lines as the Tridents medium-pacers, resulting in a flood of runs through square leg and midwicket.
Charles did all the heavy lifting in the chase, scoring 53 of the first 67 runs for the Tallawahs before getting out in the ninth over. Powell took over from there, cracking Mohammad Irfan for two sixes and a four in the space of four deliveries in the 14th over to bring the required run-rate down to a-run-a-ball. David Miller and Russell fell in the space of four legal balls after a pair of handy cameos before de Grandhomme slashed the winning boundary to third man in the 18th over.