A blitzkrieg from Chris Gayle in his first game of the tournament propelled Jamaica to an easy seven-wicket win against Combined Campuses and Colleges in St Lucia. Gayle struck four fours and nine sixes in his knock of 85, off 44 deliveries, as four of the CCC bowlers were punished severely, with three of them going for 12 runs per over or more.
The top order of CCC, after they chose to bat, played responsibly to give them a solid foundation in the game. A 59-run second-wicket stand between opener Raymon Reifer and Kyle Corbin
, who top-scored for them with 47, took them to a commanding 90 for 1 after 11.1 overs, before Reifer was dismissed. CCC, however, couldn't utilise the start to accelerate effectively as the following batsmen struck only three fours between them in towards the end of the innings to reach 150.
Gayle made a mockery of the total. He smashed 24 runs off the fourth over, 18 off the 10th over, and hit a couple of sixes in the 14th, before holing out to long-on. Jamaica overhauled the target in the 17th over.
Jamaica will play Guyana, who scraped through against Windward Islands, in the playoff on Saturday.
In a fight for the playoff spot, Guyana prevailed over Windward Islands off the last ball of a low-scoring contest. Needing to defend 11 off the last over, Windward Islands captain Darren Sammy introduced part-timer Johnson Charles into the attack. After bowling a dot ball, Charles conceded two wides, including a tight one for which Sammy was cross with the umpire, and then was struck for six. The batsman Royston Crandon was ultimately dismissed by the fourth legal delivery of the over, but the damage had already been done as Guyana took singles off the final two deliveries to seal the win.
Windward Islands' innings of 117 for 7 was based on middle-order contributions from Keddy Lesporis and Sammy. The duo repaired their innings after a poor start, when they were 46 for 4. Eventually, they were both dismissed by the 17th over, and weren't able to post a big total.
Guyana, on the other hand, squandered a positive start to slip to a losing position. After Shivnarine Chanderpaul retired hurt, they lost three wickets quickly, before Leon Johnson and Christopher Barnwell led the recovery to keep them in the hunt. The next batsman Crandon played the crucial final over that saw them home.