McLean powers Jamaica to T20 Blaze title on dramatic final day
PROVIDENCE, Guyana – Jamaica were crowned champions of the Cricket West Indies T20 Blaze tournament as they recorded a massive victory by 124 runs against Leeward Islands in the final day of the tournament on Tuesday.
There was tension and drama at the Guyana National Stadium, as front-runner Barbados lost to Trinidad and Tobago in the morning match and then Jamaica secured their victory. Both Barbados and Jamaica ended with four wins and one defeat to record the same number of points, the winners were decided on superior net run rate.
Winning the toss and batting first, the Jamaicans were led by Natasha McLean who smashed her career-best score and the highest for the tournament. The powerful 27-year-old opener made 83 off just 54 balls which included nine sizzling boundaries and three towering sixes. Taylor also came to the party as she made 56 from 51 balls which included five fours. They shared a record 145-run partnership – the highest this tournament as well – to lift the team to 170-5 off their 20 overs. The Jamaica bowlers showed great control and limited the Leeward Islands batting to 46-3 off their 20 overs.
Taylor said after the match: “It’s a good feeling. I thought today we did a fantastic job, Natasha getting us to that total, we needed somebody to propel us, given what happened against Barbados yesterday [Monday] … we were given another chance and we did it.”
Taylor added: “After seeing Barbados lose to Trinidad … I said to the players let’s go out there and try to win the toss and bat first, post a big total and at least we know that’s something we can control. Also, we want to dedicate this win to our former coach Cleon Smith who died since we last played this tournament.”
T&T hand Barbados their first defeat
Trinidad and Tobago caused the upset of the tournament when they knocked the T20 Blaze title out Barbados’ hand. Coming into this match Barbados needed a win to secure back-to-back titles but they fell to a 19-run defeat.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Trinidad and Tobago were on the backfoot early with the steady loss of wickets. However, knocks of 22 from Britney Cooper and 22 not out from Rachel Vincent, along with and 20 from captain Anisa Mohammed were enough to help them post 108-7 from their 20 overs. Captain Hayley Matthews had the best figures for Barbados with 4-0-25-2 followed by Shakera Selman with 4-0-30-2.
When Barbados batted, they struggled for momentum. Matthews (18), Kyshona Knight (23) and Aaliyah Alleyne (26) were the only Bajan batters to reach double figures and they could only finish on 89-7 off 20 overs. Mohammed had an all-round performance as she returned to take 3-11 from her four overs, while Kamara Ragoobar had 2-16 from four overs.
Guyana defeat Windward Islands
Home team Guyana ended the tournament with a six wicket victory over the Windward Islands. Windwards captain Afy Fletcher top-scored for her side with 26 off 31 deliveries to help them post 85/7 from their 20 overs. Left-arm orthodox Kaysia Schultz was the wicket-taker for Guyana, picking up 3/13 from her 4 overs.
Shemaine Campbelle led with the bat when it was their turn to chase the 86-run target. Campbelle scored almost a run-a-ball, as she finished on 29 off 30 deliveries, which included three boundaries. Pearl Etienne was the Windwards best bowler with figures of 1/10 from three overs followed by Qiana Joseph with 1/17 from 4 overs.
Points standing at the end of Round 5