CPL: Taylor propels Revellers to impressive victory in historic NLCB Challenge

SUMMARY: NLCB Revellers 78-2 (Taylor 36, Cooper 22*, King 15, Matthews 1-5) beat Courts Gladiators 74-2 (Matthews 46*, Kycia Knight 24, Isaac 1-13, Henry 1-13) by 8 wickets

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Stafanie Taylor powered her NLCB Revellers to an impressive nine-wicket victory over Courts Gladiators in the CPL Women’s T10 NLCB Challenge clash at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

The Gladiators recovered from a slow start to post what looked a challenging 74-2 from their 10 overs on the back of Hayley Matthews’ unbeaten 46.

With the pitch a touch slow and boundaries playing to their full size, it promised a tough chase for the Revellers, but Taylor made light work of it.

Stacy-Ann King and Britney Cooper got the Revellers’ run-chase off to a steady start, but when King was trapped lbw by Gladiators captain Afy Fletcher it was the Taylor show.

She cut her second ball to the point boundary to set the tone for what was to follow.

Stafanie Taylor of NLCB Revellers collects the NLCB Challenge trophy from Lisandra Thompson Marketing Manager NLCB during the NLCB Challenge Women’s T10 match at Brian Lara Stadium on October 10, 2019 in Tarouba, Trinidad And Tobago. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/CPL T20 via Getty Images)

Taylor continued to find the boundary with ease and, combined with some hard-run twos, raced to 36 from 17 balls before falling with the scores level looking to smash the winning runs and finish the game in style. That handed a wicket to Matthews, to go with her runs earlier in the day.

The game was well won by then, with Cooper stepping up from the support role she had offered while first King, and then Taylor, had been at the crease to smack the second ball of the final over straight back over the bowler Shabika Gajnabi’s head for four and seal the victory in fitting style.

The Gladiators’ total was underpinned by a 54-run second-wicket partnership between Matthews and Kycia Knight. They batted with increasing confidence and fluency as the Gladiators recovered from the loss of Sheneta Grimmond for a duck, bowled by Caneisha Isaac.

Hayley Matthew of Courts Gladiators hits four during the NLCB Challenge Women’s T10 match at Brian Lara Stadium on October 10, 2019 in Tarouba, Trinidad And Tobago. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/CPL T20 via Getty Images)

Experienced West Indies pair Matthews and Kycia Knight held their nerve, though, and keeping wickets in hand enabled the Gladiators to accelerate from 27-1 at halfway to 74-2 after their 10 overs.

Matthews plundered seven fours and a six down the ground in an innings of real class and intelligence, while Knight also cleared the ropes on her way to 24 before being smartly caught low by Cooper to hand Chinelle Henry a deserved wicket.

Matthews led the way as 47 came from the final five overs to lift the final total beyond 70, but with player of the match Taylor in this form it proved short of what was required.

The two sides meet again in the Courts Invitational on Saturday afternoon ahead of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final. (CPL)

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