THE TALLAWAHS, PLAYING THEIR FIRST MATCH OF THE LIMACOL CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE, WERE BLOWN AWAY BY A STRONG AMAZON WARRIORS PERFORMANCE, WHO WERE BRILLIANT WITH THE BAT AND BALL AND IN THE FIELD.
To say that the Guyana Amazon Warriors made light work of the Jamaica Tallawahs would be a grave understatement. The Tallawahs playing their first match of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League were blown away by a strong Amazon Warriors performance, who were brilliant with the bat and ball and in the field.
Ramnaresh Sarwan won the toss and asked his West Indies teammate, Chris Gayle, skippering the Jamaica Tallawahs, to have first knock at the crease. Opening the batting with Pakistani batsman, Ahmed Shehzad, Gayle got off to quite a slow start, as he has in recent times. The Tallawahs were 8/0 after the first three overs. As Shehzad tried to make something happen in the Powerplay off the last ball of the fourth ball, he was out, caught at deep extra cover.
What followed next would be the start of a forgettable night for the Tallawahs. Only a ball later, Chris Gayle would find himself on the wrong end of a run out. The new batsman Nkrumah Bonner wanted two runs while Gayle had seemingly already settled for one. When Gayle realised Bonner was already on his way back for the second, he made an attempt for the run at the non-striker�s end, but Denesh Ramdin�s dead straight throw saw him well short.
It was as though the head of the snake had been cut off the Jamaica Tallawah�s batting line-up. Bonner and Danza Hyatt tried to form a partnership. They took the score from 15/2 to 36/2 before Veerasammy Permaul trapped Bonner leg before.
Things were looking grim for Jamaica as veteran South African batsman, Jacques Rudolph, walked out to the middle at 36/3 and he didn�t last very long either. Just five balls later, in the eighth over, Sunil Narine would pull back the pace of a doosra, stretching Rudolph out of his crease, as Ramdin completed a sharp stumping from the back.
The sequence of wickets every over from the start of the eighth over continued into the tenth, as Hyatt was also trapped leg before by Permaul. Carlton Baugh and Dave Bernard Jr added some respectability to the innings, forming a crucial sixth wicket partnership worth 36 runs. Both batsmen batted with measured aggression. At times, Baugh had been the recipient of a little bit of luck, especially off Sunil Narine, who he rarely read, and the Tallawahs needed the luck. After hitting 24 from 23 balls, in a knock that included two sixes and a four, Bernard Jr was exceptionally caught on the long-on boundary by Martin Guptill. The Kiwi had to run back from mid-on with the ball going over his shoulder high into the night sky, but he pulled off a stunner, a catch that would otherwise look easy to the untrained eye.
Andre Russell came in with 4.3 overs left in the innings, but he couldn�t provide the spark the Tallawahs so desperately needed. At the end of the Tallawahs� most expensive over of the innings, which Baugh had struck 13 runs off, Russell edged the last ball of the 17th over through to Ramdin.
The tail didn�t wag for the Tallawahs. Baugh tried hard to survive and score runs, but he was the last man out on the first ball of the last over, swinging across the line of a straight ball from Santokie. The Tallawahs had been restricted to 117 all out. Almost every Amazon Warrior bowler was made to look good, none better though than Santokie�s 3-20 and Narine�s 1-13.
Chris Gayle opted to open the bowling with Nikita Miller. It just didn�t matter. Lendl Simmons� form tied together with the comfort Martin Guptill gets from opening with the West Indian trumped any bowling. Both batsmen just seem to know their roles as opening batsmen. First Guptill went after the bowling as Simmons settled, then Simmons started belting the ball around. At its earliest stage in the tournament so far, Guptill and Simmons have been the best opening pair by miles.
They put on 48 runs for the opening stand before Muttiah Muralitharan got the breakthrough for the visitors in his first over. It was too close to cut but Guptill tried anyway, playing on to his stumps for 17. Ten runs later, Mohammad Hafeez needlessly threw his wicket away, trying to clear long-on. Muralitharan had his second wicket in as many overs.
But that�s as good as it got for the Tallawahs. The Lendl Simmons show had started at Providence Stadium and millions around the world were watching. Simmons was seeing the ball as big as a balloon, or so it seemed. He crashed five fours and four sixes in his knock of 67 from just 44 balls. While his skipper settled into the crease, he seemed to be in a rush to get the match over with. As Sarwan got his eye in, he too started batting aggressively, striking a late six and four in his knock of 24 runs from 19 balls.
The match was secured in the 14th over when 22 runs were still required. Simmons ripped in to Muralitharan, striking the spinner for three consecutive sixes. After the first, he had gotten to his half-century. Twenty runs came from the over, leaving a wide from Gayle and a single from Sarwan to polish off a perfect performance. The Amazon Warriors won by 8 wickets with 5.3 overs remaining, again replacing the Barbados Tridents at the top of the table.
Simmons swept all of the Caribbean Premier League�s Grammy awards on the night, taking the Limacol Super Six of the Match, the Digicel 4G Fastest Score of the Match, and the Man of the Match awards.
He was deadly and destructive, and he�s left every other team in the tournament wishing they had one of him in their arsenal.