JAMAICA Tallawahs prevailed in a low-scoring nail-biter last evening against the Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence when the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) continued.
Amid a passionate, excitable crowd dominated by Warriors support, the hosts threw away their outstanding work in the field with a nervous batting display, losing the encounter by two runs.
Set 129 for victory, the Warriors reached 126-4.
Kesrick Williams celebrates one of his three wickets.
Earlier in the evening, the Warriors, instigated by some accurate bowling, had restricted the tourists to 128-7. On a tough pitch for batting the Tallawahs’ late recruit Glenn Phillips was the only player who managed to score with some form of fluency, hitting 51 off 47 balls.
Timely rotation from the Warriors bowling unit saw Rayad Emrit, Rashid Khan and Steven Jacobs, all claiming two wickets apiece. Sohail Tanvir had 1-14 off his four overs, while left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul went wicket-less in his spell, which cost just 19 runs.
The visitors’ powerful opening pair of Lendl Simmons and Phillips were well restricted, with only two boundaries coming in the first five overs.
However, the introduction of leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the sixth over yielded the first six, with Simmons using his feet to manufacture a clean hit over the long-on ropes.
After hitting Khan for the first-ball six, Simmons was then bowled the next ball, and at the end of the Powerplay the Tallawahs had scored 35-1.
Even as the field dropped back, the Warriors continued to maintain the pressure to rein in the Tallawahs, with another couple tight overs of spin. The pressure of that period told in the 10th over when Jacobs bowled the dangerous Andre McCarthy for an 11-ball eight, leaving the Tallawahs 50-2.
Eight runs later the innings took another turn for the worse as Kumar Sangakkara went in similar fashion to McCarthy, off the bowling of Jacobs for five.
The removal of the Tallawahs top-order brought Rovman Powell, and together with Phillips, they threatened to build a substantial partnership, but Powell’s attacking instincts got the better of him as he attempted to hit a second on-side boundary in quick succession and picked up boundary-rider Khan off the bowling of Emrit for a nine-ball seven.
Having lost those wickets, the Tallawahs had to adjust their expectations, and Phillips who batted with some restraint until the 15th over, launched Emrit for his first six. He then smashed Roshon Primus for his second maximum the next over.
Joined by Jonathan Foo, the Guyanese played a late cameo, hitting Khan for two four and a six in consecutive balls. Sixteen runs came off the 18th over before Foo was bowled by Khan.
Rashid Khan claims his second wicket when he bowled Jonathan Foo.
Phillips and Imad Wasim were the other two batsmen dismissed, with clever spells at the death from Tanvir and Emrit, ensuring the Warriors target would not be insurmountable.
The Warriors’ run chase began steadily, with openers Martin Guptill and Chadwick Walton batting with great assurance, and at the halfway stage of the innings the hosts were 61 without loss.
The duo gave the Warriors top-order some fresh impetus, with Walton hitting 37 off 33 balls, including three fours before he was taken at point off Kesrick Williams.
Guptill followed soon after, bowled by Garey Mathurin for a 41-ball 33. However, despite the loss of those wickets, the opening stand had helped establish a platform from which the Warriors middle-order failed to capitalise.
Babar Azam and Jason Mohammed joined forces after the dismissal of Guptill, and the pair combined in a busy partnership of 49.
They took the total to 118 when Azam was dropped on the square-leg boundary in the 19th over, an over where three mis-fields even failed to assist the Warriors victory bid.
With eight from the last over bowled by Williams, the Warriors took a single off the first ball, follow by a dot ball. The third ball saw the Warriors manage three runs. The fourth ball saw Azam dismissed for 23 off 27 balls. With four runs off two balls, Mohammed managed a single, leaving Primus three runs to get off the last ball.
Primus then skied the last ball to wide mid-on where substitute Trevon Griffith accepted an easy catch, to leave Warriors two runs short of victory. Mohammed was left unbeaten on 24.
The Warriors will clash with tournament leaders Trinbago Knight Riders tomorrow from 12:00hrs – the second of four home games for the Warriors, who remain on two points after five games.