Powell powers Tallawahs to second CPL victory
THE JAMAICA Tallawahs, on the back of some late-order heroics from captain Rovman Powell and all-rounder Chris Green, chalked up their second straight win in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 cricket competition, following a four-wicket win over the Guyana Amazon Warriors yesterday.
On a surface that proved difficult for stroke play for both sides, the Tallawahs, thanks to an unbeaten 44 from Powell and 17 not out from Green, managed to chase down the 143 needed for victory, this after the Warriors clawed their way to 142 for six.
Following overnight rain, which contributed to wet early-morning conditions and a delayed start, the Tallawahs sent the Warriors in to take the first strike, and that decision looked to be the ideal one as the Guyana side struggled to put runs on the board in the early exchanges.
Pakistani seamer Mohammed Amir made sure the Warriors got off to a poor start, by removing openers Paul Stirling and Chanderpaul Hemraj with just five runs on the board, in the third over.
Shai Hope and skipper Shimron Hetmyer had to dig deep to eke out runs, and they put on a valuable 66 runs for the third wicket, before Hope fell to seamer Miguel Pretorius for 25.
The very next ball of the new over by Jamaican Nicholson Gordon brought about the demise of Hetmyer, who top-scored with a valiant 39 from 45 balls, with two fours and a six.
At 71 for four in the 15th over, the Warriors looked set for a paltry score. However, Romario Shepherd showcased his late-order hitting by smashing 35 from 17 balls, to spruce up the Warriors’ scoring. Shepherd hit three fours and three sixes, and when he fell in the 19th over, the Guyana side had 122 runs on the board and looking to post a defendable total.
South African wicketkeeper Henrich Klaasen ensured the Warriors finished strong with a brisk 22 not out from 15 balls, with two fours and a six, as the innings closed on 142 for six.
Player of the match Amir ended with three wickets for 22 runs, while Pretorius bagged two wickets for 35.
After Tallawahs off-spinner Chris Green conceded just five runs in his four overs, the Warriors knew that their talismanic slow bowlers Tabraiz Shamsi and Imran Tahir would also be a handful on the gripping surface.
Despite losing opener Kennar Lewis (6) and Shamarh Brooks (0) early, the Tallawahs slowly went about the run chase with the in-form Brandon King getting a few early boundaries to settle the nerves. The right-hander would get to 32 off 25 balls, with four fours and a six, before he fell victim to the spin of Tahir.
Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie then removed wicketkeeper Amir Jangoo for 15 to leave the Tallawahs in trouble at 70 for four in the 13th over.
Imad Wasim came and delivered a few lusty blows in getting 18, but when all the Warriors spinners had completed their spell, the Tallawahs were facing a stiff scenario, needing 50 runs off the last four overs.
With only seamers at their disposal, captain Powell timed his onslaught to perfection, as he and Green capitalised on some indifferent fielding and poor bowling from Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith. The pair took 23 runs off the 18th over bowled by Shepherd, then took eight runs off the 19th over bowled by Smith.
With just seven runs to get in the final over, Powell slapped Shepherd’s second ball of the final over into the stands and then completed the formalities with a single off the next ball to hand the Tallawahs their second straight win in the competition.
Powell finished unbeaten on 44 from 38 balls with one four and four sixes, while Green ended not out on 17 from seven balls, with two fours and a six.
Despite struggling against the spinners, Powell was pleased that he was able to leave it late against the seamers and carry his team over the line.
“We always knew it was going to be difficult because they have two world-class international spinners along with Motie, who is a world-class spinner also. We just decided that once we batted deep and don’t lose wickets in clusters, we would be good,” said Powell.
With the Tallawahs going two from two, Powell is keen to keep the winning mentality in place when they next face the home side, St Lucia Kings, on Wednesday.
“It’s a very short competition so momentum becomes very important. It’s good to start well and hopefully in the middle of the competition we can take that momentum and push it.”