Guyana Amazon Warriors 156 for 6 (Malik 73, Rutherford 45, Derval Green 2-23) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 79 (Phillips 21, Liton 21, Tahir 3-12) by 77 runs
Guyana Amazon Warriors. Table toppers, unbeaten, full of confidence. What could go wrong? Not much, right? Well, eight balls into the game, they lost four wickets to Derval Green and Oshane Thomas, both on a hat-trick at the same time. With their backs to the wall, Shoaib Malik, the only overseas captain in CPL 2019, resurrected the innings with a 82-run stand with Sherfane Rutherford. He finished unbeaten on 73 to help post 156. This was 77 too many for Jamaica Tallawahs, who looked defeated at the halfway mark itself.
The four-in-four magic
This was by all means a bat-first pitch. Tallawahs knew it’ll get slower and stop on the batsmen as the game progresses, which is why they couldn’t have bargained for a better start. Off the very first over, Oshane had Brandon King bowled as he backed away to slap a length ball over cover and Shimron Hetmyer caught behind, albeit in controversial circumstances with replays suggestion no conclusive evidence.
Off the first two balls of the next over, Derval Green beat Chandrapaul Hemraj for pace by pushing him back and flattening the leg stump before suckerpunching Nicholas Pooran lbw with a full inswinger that tailed in late to crash into the pad. Eight balls, eight runs, four wickets. Tallawahs were on fire.
Malik and Rutherford walked in to a crisis and walked out of one very quickly. From overs 3-8, Rutherford counter-attacked to ensure they had at least one boundary every over. Off Green’s second, Rutherford carved out three boundaries to put the pressure right back. Malik quickly slipped into the role of a second fiddle and allowed Rutherford to do all the scoring, the pair raising their half-century stand off just 38 balls; Rutherford’s contribution being 33.
Tallawahs were slightly taken aback by the counter and continued to slip, not even Rutherford’s wicket to break an 82-run stand coming as a respite. They let Malik off the hook on 20 when Zahir Khan misjudged and eventually put down a sitter at short fine leg in the 12th over off Dwayne Smith.
This merely proved to be the trigger for Malik to go on a calculative attack as he brought up a half-century off just 35 deliveries.Then he took apart Thomas at the death as he erred consistently in lengths to concede 26 off the penultimate over. Malik finished 73 not out and the Amazon Warriors had momentum by their side.
Tallawahs stifled in Powerplay
Chris Green continues to quietly continues to make heads turn. The Australian selectors may well have an excellent Powerplay spin option to consider for next year’s T20 World Cup, because he’s accurate, economical, gets the ball to skid, bounce and varies his angles well. All this helped get rid of Chris Gayle first ball when he went around the stumps and got one to fizz straight on beat him on the inside edge. Malik cleverly went with spin at the other end too, with Imran Tahir and he had Chadwick Walton hole out to long-on in the third over.
Glen Phillips, one of the finds for the Tallawahs, and Liton Das limped to 26 for 2 in the Powerplays. Phillips looked to up the ante as he hit Qais Ahmed, the Afghanistan leggie, for successive boundaries in the seventh to signal a change in intent, but with the asking rate spiraling, he holed out to long-on. It was the start of another collapse, the second of the night.
Team hat-trick, again
Qais impressed with his variety and his back-flip celebrations, too. He had Dwayne Smith with a ripping legbreak and Imran Khan with a top-spinner off the last two balls off the 14th over. Off the first ball of the next, Keemo Paul, the only fast bowler employed by Warriors, had Liton Das mistime a pull straight to midwicket. Steven Jacobs averted four-in-four, by a hair’s breadth as a strong lbw appeal was turned down, with replays proving he may have been struck a tad too high. Two balls later, he too was gone and Tallawahs were 70 for 8. It summed up a sorry tale of a season where whatever could go wrong went wrong.