Guyana Amazon Warriors left a packed house heartbroken after folding to the Jamaican Tallawahs by two runs in a thrilling final over, as they began their home leg of this year’s Caribbean Premier league (CPL) with a school boyish display, last evening at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
The evening match began with the Tallawahs skipper, Kumar Sangakarra calling incorrectly, prompting the Warriors to bowl first on a cool afternoon at Providence. Warriors made one change to their lineup from the last match, opting for the extra spinner in Steven Jacobs, who replaced all-rounder Keemo Paul, a move which paid dividends.
The home side then began the encounter tidily with Sohil Tanvir delivering a stern first over to the explosive, Lendl Simmons which only cost two runs, both of which were wides. The Tallawahs who according to Sangakarra, needed a score of over the 140 run mark, to be in with a chance, ended the first power-play on 35 for one, with Simmons (20), the man dismissed by Rashid Khan after he had carved out two boundaries, and a huge six off the bowler responsible for his demise.
It was slow going for the Jamaican franchise as opener, Glenn Phillips and number three batsman Andre McCarthy (8) added 20 runs for the second wicket, with the latter being bowled by Jacobs, just three deliveries shy of the halfway point, making the score 50 for two. Homeboy, Veerasammy Permaul during that time had completed his complement of four overs for 19 runs.
The burden of reaching that desired 140 run mark was now on the shoulders of Sangakarra, a cricketing legend in his own right, albeit a tag earned for his exploits outside of the realm of T20 cricket, to come up with a match winning knock. The situation appeared daunting at 52 for 2, after 10 overs, with Phillips on 17 and Sangakarra on 1.
It was not to be for the legend however, as he was bowled by Jacobs for five, to leave the score on 62 for 3. The dangerous Rovman Powell arrived at the crease and also failed to fire, falling to Rayad Emrit for seven, as the visitors slipped into further trouble, with the score on 85 for 4, in the 15th over.
Phillips, who sat on 39 for the same amount of deliveries, with five overs to go, then whipped Roshan Primus for six as his side reached 100 for 4 in the 17th over. He was dismissed in the 19th over for 51, after reaching the half-century milestone the over before, in a knock which lasted 45 balls, and included four 4’s and two 6’s.
Guyanese, Jonathan Foo in the meantime had blasted Khan for two 4’s and a six in the expensive 18th over which cost 16 runs. Khan had the final say, bowling Foo for 20, which came off 12 deliveries to leave the score on 118 for 5. The Tallawahs’ innings closed on 128 for 7, as they belted 42 off the last five overs to give themselves a chance.
Jacobs was the pick of the bowlers, grabbing 2 for 18 from his four overs, while Khan and Emrit who were a bit on the expensive side, had returns of 2 for 38, and 2 for 24, respectively.
The opening pair of Martin Guptill and Chadwick Walton began the Warriors reply, cautiously, taking the score to 33 without loss at the end of the power-play, with Walton on 19, getting the innings going by cracking Garey Mathurin through the covers for two fours to kick start his innings, while Guptill on 12, was more setting an ideal tone for the run chase.
The duo continued to bat intelligently, with Walton looking his fluent best by easing Kezrick Williams past mid-on for four to take the Warriors to 50 without loss, at the end of the eighth over. It was smooth sailing for the hosts as the score mounted to 6, at the halfway point with Walton on 35, and Guptill on 23.
Walton then gifted his wicket to Williams for 37, made from 33 balls, inclusive of three boundaries, leave the Warriors on 67 for one in the 12th over. Guptill (33) fell in the next over to Mathurin, with the score on 76. The Warriors still needed 53 more runs to complete the victory, as Babar Azam and Jason Mohammed looked set to take the hosts home.
The two pushed on with Mohammed lacing Kishmar Santokie into the stands to push the score to 113 for 2 at the end of the 18th over, with the victory all but certain, at that point.
The Amazon Warriors however made a meal of it in the final over which was delivered by Williams, with the eight runs needed from the final over as Azam perished for 23 from 27 deliveries, leaving the Warriors needing three from the final delivery which they failed to get, as Primus skyed Williams to long on, only to be caught by Guyanese Trevon Griffith, handing the Tallawahs a thrilling two run victory, pushing them into second place on the points table, while Warriors remained in the penultimate position.
Mohammed was not out on 24 from 18 balls, as the hero Williams, who continues to make a name for himself, finished with three for 30 from his four overs and the Player of the match award.