Tallawahs’ CPL nightmare ends against TKR
It may sound like a broken record, but the reality is evident, as once again, the Jamaica Tallawahs’ batting unit showed its fragility, as they succumbed to a disciplined Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) by nine wickets in the first semi-final of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Despite their inconsistent form coming into the final four, a change in fortunes was expected from the Rovman Powell-led Tallawahs. However, batting, which has been their Achilles’ heel all season, failed to spark on the big stage, as they were stifled to 107 for seven in 20 overs at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy yesterday.
As was expected, the Knight Riders made light work of the total, losing only one wicket along the way and with five overs to spare, to book their place in their fourth CPL final.
It all went horribly wrong for the Tallawahs from as early as the first over, after Kieron Pollard won the toss and inserted the Jamaicans.
It was a spin barrage that did the damage, as Pollard unleashed his four-prong spin attack on the heavily right-handed Tallawahs batting line-up.
First up, Jermaine Blackwood made an almighty heave and missed an arm ball from Akiel Hosein and was bowled for nought with the fourth delivery of the innings.
That wicket maiden would signal the start of what was to come, as the spin twins of Hosein and Khary Pierre stifled the circumspect Tallawahs batters.
In quick succession, it was soon two for two and then 10 for three, as Pierre had Glenn Phillips caught at point for two and the promoted Mujeeb Ur Rahman caught at slip off Hosein for a duck.
Pakistani batsman Asif Ali, who was brought back into the side, may have wondered if he would have been better served on the bench, as he failed once again, going for four at 25 for four in the fifth over.
Only Nkrumah Bonner looked intent on putting up any meaningful resistance, as the right-hander countered the Knight Riders spinners to chalk up 41 runs from 42 balls with five fours.
When he fell to leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed at 63 for five in the 12th over, it was a matter of how much the Tallawahs could eke out to give themselves a competitive total to bowl at.
The controversial wicket of Andre Russell caught at slip off Narine for two summed up the Tallawahs’ disappointing campaign.
Captain Rovman Powell finally found his bat in the tournament, as he was able to clobber a few to get to 33 from 35 balls to spruce up the Tallawahs’ innings.
In the end, they would claw their way to 107 for seven in their 20 overs, with Hosein finishing with three for 14 to lead the charge.
The confident Knight Riders then went about the run chase in a businesslike manner, despite losing Sunil Narine early to Mujeeb for four.
Lendl Simmons and Tion Webster then shared in an unbroken 97-run partnership to seal the deal for the Knight Riders, who have gone 11 matches unbeaten in this year’s tournament.
Simmons finished not out on 54 from 44 balls, while Webster was unbeaten on 44 from 43 deliveries, as TKR sent the Tallawahs packing and out of their miserable 2020 campaign.