THE AMAZON WARRIORS DEFEAT THE TALLAWAHS AT SABINA
Christopher Barnwell came up trumps with a superb last over to help the Guyana Amazon Warriors defeat the Jamaica Tallawahs by five runs. However, the path to the Warriors� victory was paved well before Barnwell�s first over, which was the last of the game. Ideally, it was a scrap to the finish just as the match suggested it would be.
A win for either team would have virtually guaranteed them a spot in the top four and ultimately the semi-finals. The Tallawahs won the toss and asked the Amazon Warriors to bat first on Thursday afternoon in their first home game. The pitch played quite slow and batsmen couldn�t hit through the line of the ball. As a result, the Warriors limped to 139/6 from their 20 overs. It was down to a quick knock from James Franklin that propelled the Warriors� innings.
The Tallawahs seemed relatively satisfied indeed with their effort in the field at the halfway stage. However, they endured the same hurdles the Warriors had to overcome earlier in the afternoon. The ball didn�t come on to the bat so the batsmen couldn�t hit through the line of the ball comfortably. Chris Gayle and Ahmed Shehzad were slow in the first half of the Powerplay. In fact, when Shehzad got frustrated having scored three runs from seven balls, he opted for the sweep against Mohammad Hafeez and was out Leg Before Wicket.
The Tallawahs didn�t need to score at a rapid rate though, or so it would seem. They boast some of the biggest hitters in the tournament, including a new one who introduced himself to the world on Thursday afternoon. Chadwick Walton, playing in his first game for the Tallawahs joined his skipper upon Shehzad�s dismissal. He took a few deliveries to settle in but played positively on a wicket that was difficult to bat on. Once in, Walton took the attack to the Warriors spinners, hitting an array of boundaries. His best over was against Hafeez when he struck two sixes and a four in the eighth over worth 18 runs.
For the start of the middle overs, he looked to be just what the Tallawahs needed. Gayle at the other end was batting patiently, trying to bat through the innings once more. Walton though could keep the scoreboard ticking. He added 46 runs with his skipper taking the score to 66/2 before he failed to clear Franklin at long-off. His knock of 36 runs from 20 balls was crucial in the first half of the Tallawahs� chase but then the quick wicket of Danza Hyatt followed as Veerasammy Permaul came into the attack. Gayle and Jacques Rudolph would put on 26 runs from 23 balls before the pressure would take its toll. The Tallawahs kept chasing the game. Runs required were constantly more than balls left. Gayle smashed two sixes in two overs to wind up his arm but Krishmar Santokie was brought back at the start of the 15th over. He delivered two good yorkers without success but his third would defeat Gayle, rippling through the Jamaican�s late defence. Gayle had scored 43 from 46 balls and once again, his patient approach had failed.
Rudolph kept going, stroking two consecutive fours to keep the Tallawahs in the hunt. Narine returned to take his wicket. Sarwan mixed up his bowlers quite well, almost too well. He was left with a tough decision on who should bowl the final over with ten runs needed, and all of his front-line bowlers done. If it was any consolation though, Santokie had gotten rid of hard-hitting right hander Andre Russell in the penultimate over. Barnwell produced a very good last over, getting the wickets of Vernon Philander and Dave Bernard. Carlton Baugh couldn�t get the ball away.
It quite summarised the challenge of batting on that Sabina Park wicket. The Tallawahs had fallen five runs short, but after Barnwell�s first three balls, the Warriors looked all out favourites. Seemingly, it was that type of wicket, where a score around 140 would be competitive. It was quite similar for the Warriors batsmen. Openers Lendl Simmons and Martin Guptill put on a partnership of 68 runs, but it came from 59 balls; so even those two couldn�t get away.
Simmons hit two sixes and two fours in his score of 30, but his two sixes came in consecutive balls. Guptill struck five fours, scoring 39 from 36 balls. Moral of the story? More than half of both their runs came in boundaries. James Franklin, promoted up the order to number three, would give the Warriors the boost in run rate they needed. He�s been in fine touch and continued on Thursday afternoon. He hammered 40 from just 29 balls, but ran hard between the wickets. He struck two sixes and a four.
He batted through to the 20th over before being one of three wickets to fall in the last over of the Warriors� innings. Barnwell chipped in with 11, but it was Franklin�s knock that made the difference between a win and a loss. It was perhaps some consolation that he was awarded the Limacol Super Six of the Match for his 97 metre boundary. Narine�s 4-0-10-1 however, gave him the coveted Man of the Match award. Walton�s knock of 36 runs from 20 balls earned him the Digicel 4G Fastest Scorer award. Maybe he�s in line to open the batting for the Tallawahs this weekend. They lose again, and it could be curtains.