All-rounder Andre Russell’s brutal knock, backed up by Vernon Philander’s match-winning spell, allowed the Jamaican Tallawahs to romp to a seven- wicket win over the Antigua Hawksbills in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence yesterday.
Playing under remotely overcast weather and watched by a growing Guyanese crowd, Hawksbills skipper Marlon Samuels won the toss and elected to bat, a decision that did not bring about the desired result as the Antigua franchise was strangled by the Jamaican bowlers who restricted them to 117 for 7 from their 20 overs.
Fast bowler Vernon Philander picked up 3 wickets for 16 runs off his quota of four overs while spin great Muttiah Muralitharan gave excellent support picking up 2 for 18 and Chris Gayle chipped in with 2 for 22.
Opener Kieran Powell top scored with 38 runs from 35 balls, smacking two fours and a six while Australia batting legend Ricky Ponting looked solid for his 19 but failed to accelerate in his innings and was caught by Ahmed Shahzad off Gayle.
The big hitting South African batsman Justin Kemp was removed by Philander for 19. Opener Johnson Charles (7), skipper Marlon Samuels (8), Devon Thomas (2) and Rahkeem Cornwall (9), were all dismissed for single digits as the Tallawahs ran through the Hawksbill feeble batting line up after rain had interrupted play for some 15 minutes.
In reply the Tallawahs cruised to 120 for 3 from 16.5 overs with Russell ending on a unbeaten 42 from a mere 23 balls.
He struck four fours and three big sixes and was supported by Danza Hyatt who made 25 not out.
Openers Gayle and Shahzad played cautiously in the chase. After hitting Kemar Roach for a boundary, Shahzad was removed for 10 caught by Kemp.
Nkrumah Bonner and Gayle steadied the innings with Bonner smacking spinner Anthony Martin for a six over mid-wicket but was bowled by Samuels for an aggressive 21 from 20 balls with two fours and one six.
Hyatt and Gayle tried to see the Tallawahs home as they brought up the team’s 50 in 9.3 overs but in the 11th over, Cornwall’s first, Gayle, after looking out of sorts, popped a return catch to the burly 20-year- old and departed for 11 from 20 balls.
Russell came to the crease with the score 53 for 1 and immediately cut loose smashing the likes of Cornwall, Sheldon Cotterrell, Roach and Kemp for fours and sixes.
He continued his onslaught on Kemp and brought up the team’s 100 in the 16th over with a six over deep mid-wicket, followed by a humongous straight six, as the South African all-rounder’s over went for a costly 17.
With seven runs needed from the last four overs, Russell smashed china-man bowler Dave Mohamed for his third six to wrap up the game with seven wickets remaining.
Roach, Cornwall and Samuels picked up one wicket each.
At the post match presentation, Philander was named Man-of-the-Match