A grand batting exhibition from Alick Athanaze (76) and the all-round efforts of Jason Holder (2/19, 9* off 3) anchored Barbados Royals to sweep aside Jamaica Tallawahs for a six-wicket victory.

Earlier, the Royals won the toss and elected to bowl first. This decision was a blessing in disguise because…

Double Trouble (J. Holder version) 

Jason Holder brought the party vibes to the Kensington Oval with key dismissals in the second and sixth overs. His deliveries - fullish outswinger and full at the stumps - successfully nudged Brandon King (1) and Alex Hales (12) to step forward and pull the trigger, but their attempted shots inadvertently ended as catches for Qais Ahmad and Laurie Evans.

Best powerplay of the season

Holder’s effective spell (2-0-8-2) and Kyle Mayers’ dismissal of Kirk McKenzie (7, 4.1 overs) helped Barbados Royals keep Jamaica Tallawahs in check in the powerplay. 25/3 in six overs, and in the words of TV commentator Nikhil Uttamchandani - This is the lowest total of the powerplay this season!

Spin, wickets and a target of 161

Qais Ahmad’s two scalps - which included redemption against Shamarh Brooks (78), Roelof van der Merwe’s yorker-length delivery to crash the furniture of Fabian Allen (2) and a runout at the very end saw the Royals bring the shutters on Tallawahs’ first innings at 160/7.

Early hiccups in the Royals’ run chase

The Royals began their 161-run chase with a score of 35/2 in the powerplay. While Rahkeem Cornwall (17) got bowled in by Imad Wasim, Kyle Mayers (4) found himself trapped for an LBW by Chris Green.

50 for Athanaze, 100 for Royals

Coming in at number four, Alick Athanaze took over the reins of Barbados Royals’ batting and went on his own roadshow. In his initial 33 balls, the 24-year-old smacked six boundaries and two sixes to ease to his maiden CPL fifty and get the Royals into triple figures (108/2) by the end of the 14th over.

Holder puts the seal of victory

With 19 required off the last 12 balls, Jason Holder took the baton from Athanaze and guided the Royals home. The homegrown all-rounder struck two boundaries in the three deliveries he faced, including a four as a victorious home run to rubberstamp a convincing victory over the defending champions. Skipper Rovman Powell - unbeaten on 10 - was all smiles and happy to have Holder put the finishing touches to the run chase.

Despite the victory, Barbados Royals remain fifth on the CPL 2023 points table. Still, there could be a shift in places based on other teams’ results and the outcome of the Royals’ upcoming fixture against St Lucia Kings on Saturday, September 2.