Muralitharan, Gayle power Jamaica to CPL semis
Muttiah Muralitharan bowled an inspiring spell (3/12) that ensured a semifinal berth for Jamaica Tallawahs after they defeated the Barbados Tridents by 6 wickets in the Caribbean Premier League on Sunday.
The Tridents got off to a flyer after they were put in to bat first by Jamaica. However, Muralitharan unleashed his attacking side as he picked important scalps of Shoaib Malik, Kieron Pollard and Ashley Nurse, restricting Barbados to just 113 in 20 overs, which drastically altered the course of the game. It was a relatively easy chase for Jamaica, as they won the game in the 19th over, losing just 4 wickets and cruised their way to the semifinal.
The following day, Chris Gayle kept the momentum going as he helped Jamaica beat Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel by 3 wickets. As a result, Jamaica climbed to 2nd position in their group, tied with Guyana Amazon Warriors on 10 points.
Jamaica, who elected to field after winning the toss, got off to a good start, with skipper Gayle (2/24) picking crucial wickets of Ross Taylor (20) and Dwayne Bravo (29), restricting the run flow from one end. Three batsmen were involved in run-outs, which led to the self-destruction of Red Steel, who managed a paltry 133 at the end of 20 overs.
Chris Gayle (51) was in no mood to slow down as he initiated the chase with a quickfire fifty that involved 4 fours and 5 sixes, putting up a 66-run 1st wicket partnership with Chadwick Walton (28) in just inside 7 overs. Following Gayle’s dismissal, the middle order collapsed, but was later revived by Danza Hyatt (25) who stayed unbeaten till the end, completing the chase in the final over with support from the other end.
Jamaica Tallawahs are set to take on Barbados Tridents in their semifinal at Port of Spain on August 23.