Despite a brisk 41-run innings from captain Faf du Plessis, Saint Lucia Kings succumbed to a 33-run defeat against Jamaica Tallawahs in their Eliminator clash of the Caribbean Premier League 2022 at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Tuesday.
Saint Lucia Kings had reached the final in the last two editions of CPL but could not go past the Eliminator this time.
After restricting Jamaica Tallawahs to 148/8 in their 20 overs, Saint Lucia Kings could only manage 115 in their run-chase.
Earlier, Kings captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and opted to bowl in the high-profile encounter.
Brandon King and wicket-keeper batter Kennar Lewis opened the innings for the Jamaica Tallawahs as they put on an 18-run partnership before both perished in consecutive overs.
While Kings fast bowler Alzarri Joseph trapped Brandon King (7) in front of the stumps in the fourth over, Kennar Lewis also missed a straight delivery as he was dismissed leg before wicket in the very next over to pacer Matthew Forde.
Rovman Powell joined Shamarh Brooks at the crease as the pair added run-a-ball 26 before Kings left-arm spinner Jeavor Royal bagged the crucial wicket of Jamaica Tallawahs captain Powell (7).
With Tallawahs reeling at 47/3 in 8.3 overs, Brooks stitched an impressive partnership with Raymon Reifer in the middle overs. The duo forged a 51-run stand for the fourth wicket to bring the two-time CPL champions back into the game.
However, the Kings’ star all-rounder David Wiese broke the partnership in the 15th over he removed Brooks for a well-made 47 runs off 31 balls. Two balls later, Wiese picked his second wicket of the match as he dismissed Fabien Allen (0).
After Wiese’s double-wicket over, the Tallawahs couldn’t recover as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Alzarri Joseph put more pressure on the Jamaican batting line-up as he removed Raymon Reifer for 25.
Meanwhile, Wiese continued his impressive spell, claiming his third wicket of the game, dismissing Imad Wasim for seven. The South African-born Namibian cricketer finished with figures of 3-0-19-3.
Kings fast bowler Kesrick Williams also joined the party as he bagged the wicket of Chris Green (2) in the 18th over.
While Tallawahs kept losing wickets at one end, their experienced all-rounder Mohammad Nabi played a blinder as he smashed an unbeaten 31 off just 15 balls to power his side to 148/8 in their 20 overs.
In reply, Kings suffered an early blow as the in-form opener Johnson Charles (3) perished to Tallawahs pacer Mohammad Amir in the third over.
Kings wicket-keeper batter Niroshan Dickwella joined captain Faf du Plessis at the crease. The pair played some beautiful shots before Tallawahs left-arm spinner Imad Wasim dismissed Dickwella (8) and Roston Chase (1) in his back-to-back overs.
On the other hand, du Plessis continued his scintillating form as he scored 41 runs off just 26 balls, laced with four fours and two sixes, before he was cleaned up by Fabien Allen.
After losing their skipper, other Kings batters put on an underwhelming show as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
While Adam Hose (18) and Alzarri Joseph (28) showed some resistance, Saint Lucia Kings were bowled out for 115 in 18 overs.
With this win, Jamaica Tallawahs will face Guyana Amazon Warriors in Qualifier 2 to decide who will lock horns with Barbados Royals in the CPL 2022 final on Friday.