Patriots’ batting might trumps Phillips’ 103 in eliminator

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Ben Cutting provided a sense of deja vu at Providence, striking a six off the penultimate ball to clinch a nailbiting two-wicket victory, the second time in two nights a win had been registered by that margin at this venue. This time, the result went in favour of St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, as the 2017 finalists knocked out Jamaica Tallawahs in a record-breaking chase.
Tallawahs had posted the highest-ever T20 total at Providence, making 191 for 5 on the back of a fantastic Glenn Phillips century. But the mark lasted less than two hours as Anton Devcich sparked a middle-order revival following Ish Sodhi’s three-wicket haul. Cutting, who had dropped Phillips during the course of his century, then turned from goat to hero by smashing the decisive blow over the midwicket boundary to put Patriots on the plane to Trinidad, where they’ll take on Trinbago Knight Riders on Friday night for the right to face Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final.
Phillips batted all 20 overs to become just the eighth batsman in CPL history to record a century, and just the second overseas batsman to do so, following in the footsteps of Colin Munro, another South African-born New Zealand international, who achieved it in 2016.
Phillips played second fiddle to his senior New Zealand team-mate, Ross Taylor, through the first half of the innings. After the fall of Johnson Charles, caught at backward point off Fabian Allen’s left-arm spin in the third over, Taylor controlled a 70-run second-wicket stand with 33 off 23 balls, before being deceived by a slower ball from Cutting.
Phillips finally got his motor revving in the 13th over, bashing Cutting for two sixes and a four to bring up his half-century in the 20-run over. Rovman Powell fell in the following over, slogging Tabraiz Shamsi to Cutting at long-on, and Andre Russell didn’t last long either, skying a catch to deep point off Carlos Brathwaite.
Phillips kicked on past 100 with a helping hand from Cutting, who spilled him on 79 at long-on off Shamsi. Phillips became more adventurous as he closed in on three figures, ramping Brathwaite over the wicketkeeper for four, before shuffling all the way across his stumps to a ball almost off the pitch outside off stump, and flaying it over wide long-on for six to move to 97. He brought up his century off 58 balls in the 18th over, cutting Shamsi behind point for a four.
However, Phillips lost steam thereafter, as a wheezing finish to the innings arguably cost them in the end. Phillips and David Miller added just 17 runs in the final two overs, underwhelming after the position they had got into, which made a record total suddenly appear far less daunting to chase.
Patriots’ chase got off to a sluggish start as Devon Thomas was caught in the deep off Steven Jacobs in the second over. Sodhi continued to trouble the Patriots, striking twice in the 10th over. Rassie van der Dussen fell trying to force the pace, as he top-edged a slog sweep, which wicketkeeper Phillips collected by running to his right.