Jamaica brush aside Nevis to enter semi-finals
Jamaica 123 for 2 (Samuels 46) beat Nevis 121 (Browne 25, Taylor 3-39) by eight wickets
Jamaica, led by a fine all-round performance by Marlon Samuels, who top-scored with 46 and took a brace of wickets, claimed a convincing eight-wicket win over Nevis to enter the semi-finals of the Stanford 20/20 in Coolidge, Antigua.
Chasing 122, Jamaica lost opener Brenton Parchment early when he was bowled by Ian Byron for 10, but that brought together the dangerous combine of Samuels and Gayle, who put on 74 runs for the second wicket. Samuels, who would go on to claim the US$ 25,000 Man-of-the-Match award, was the more aggressive of the two, blasting five fours and a couple of sixes in the seventh over bowled by Byron.
Samuels was dismissed while he tried to clear the long-on boundary, but Gayle was there was there to see Jamaica through to victory with an unusually subdued 43-ball 28. Danza Hyatt provided the late flourish with two fours and as many sixes to remain unbeaten on 27.
Earlier, Nevis, who chose to bat, lost Carlon Smithen early when he tried to work Jerome Taylor down the leg side, and the ensuing leading edge was brilliantly taken by Parchment, running backwards from cover, an effort which fetched him the $10,000 Play of the Day award. Smithen's opening partner, Sherwin Woodley then holed out to Wavell Hinds at long-on when he tried to take on the offspin of Samuels.
Tonito Willett (16)and Javier Liburd (22) added 33 runs for the third wicket, but their partnership was broken when left-arm spinner Nikita Miller dismissed Willett, caught at long-off by Shawn Findlay. Nevis then slumped to 72 for 5 when they lost two more wickets; Runako Morton was stumped by Carlton Baugh while facing a wide delivery from Gayle while Liburd was run out.
Captain Joel Simmonds (15) and Daynason Browne (25) ensured that the 100-run mark was breached by adding 34 runs for the sixth wicket before Taylor added a couple of wickets to his tally to prevent a late-order flourish from Nevis.