CPL 2023: Classy Athanaze leads Royals home

Barbados Royals 161/4 (Athanaze 76, Evans 30; Green 2/21, Wasim 1/36) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 160/7(Brooks 78, Wasim 33; Holder 2/19, Ahmad 2/42) by 6 wickets

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Barbados Royals returned to winning ways in the Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a six-wicket victory over the Jamaica Tallawahs.

The Royals won the toss and opted to field first, and it proved to be an inspired decision in the early passages of the game.

The Tallawahs innings imploded inside the PowerPlay with the loss of three wickets but good recovery batting at the back end led by Shamarh Brooks ensured the Tallawahs set a tricky 161 for the Royals to win.

In reply, the Royals faced a similar problem to the Tallawahs, losing key wickets in the PowerPlay, but Alick Athanaze’s statement knock of 76 was the foundation for a successful chase that saw the Royals home with an over to spare.

The Tallawahs attempts to set a competitive total were dealt a huge blow inside the PowerPlay. Losing King, Mckenzie and Hales in quick succession left the Tallawahs teetering at 25/3 at the end of six overs.

Shamarh Brooks and Raymon Reifer consolidated after the initial drama with a 54 run partnership but Qais Ahmad cleaned up Reifer to keep the Royals well on top.

Brooks was not to be denied however and his 78 from 40 balls proved crucial in keeping the Tallawahs in the game. This was supplemented by Imad Wasim’s late order hitting to get the Tallawahs up to 160/7 at the end of their 20 overs.

161 was a tricky chase for the Royals to navigate and when they lost both Rahkeem Cornwall and Kyle Mayers in the PowerPlay the game looked set for a tight finish.

However, Athanaze and Laurie Evans’ partnership of 89 ensured the Royals entered the final five overs with a gettable equation to navigate.

Chris Green removed Laurie Evans in the 16th over and Salman Irshad got Alick Athanaze to top edge one to the fine leg boundary for 76 with 12 balls to go but Rovman Powell and Jason Holder saw the Royals home to put them right back in the playoff race. (CPLT20) 

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