A century stand between Rovman Powell and Ross Taylor helped the Jamaica Tallawahs ace the highest successful run chase at Providence Stadium and register a commanding eight-wicket win over the Guyana Amazon Warriors Saturday night in the penultimate group match of the 2018 HERO Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
In front of a capacity crowd of Warriors supporters, Warriors made a bold move, dropping Rayad Emrit from the side and handing the captaincy to the inexperienced and virtual unknown prior to the tournament, Chris Green.
Green subsequently lost the toss and the Warriors were sent in to take first strike by Tallawahs’ skipper Andre Russell.
With the Warriors posting a total that would require a record chase, Tallawahs got off to a rocking start with Johnson Charles and the in-form Glen Phillips picking the bad balls well and duly dispatching them for boundaries.
Phillips was then undone by Imran Tahir’s googly, which ended the partnership of 40 and sent him back to the pavilion for 27 runs from 17 balls.
Keemo Paul continued the momentum left by Tahir having Charles mistiming a shot high in the air only to be put down by Roshon Primus on the boundary square of the wicket as Tallawahs closed the powerplay on 53-1.
Charles capitalized on the opportunity, smashing Tahir for a six and a four before Tahir had the final say, with Charles playing all around another googly only to be bowled for 25 which brought the Powell-Taylor partnership.
With a few spirited appeals, the runs slowed up with Tallawahs managing 82-2 at the halfway stage and Warriors trying six of their bowling options in the 10 overs.
Powell accelerated and sunk his teeth into left arm spinner, Veerasammy Permaul soon after the break, hitting him down the ground for a six and a four off back-to-back deliveries while bringing up the team’s 100 with a four down to third man off the hip. Taylor brought up the 50 partnership with Powell with a six off of medium pacer, Primus, followed by two more boundaries in the same over that signalled a seemingly surrendering by the Warriors as they looked unsure where to bowl to the two batsmen.
Taylor then smashed Sohail Tanvir down to fine leg for a boundary while Powell hoisted him into the long on boundary for a six, another huge over that brought the equation down to 31 from 30 balls.
Iconically, on one Knee, Taylor dispatched Paul into the square leg boundary for a six to bring up the century stand.
With little left to do, Powell achieved his own personal milestone, hitting Paul, two balls later into the long on boundary for a four that brought up his half century before emphatically ending it with the entire field inside the 30-yard circle, simply carving a four to finish unbeaten on 55 from 34 balls. Taylor ended on 60 not out from 41 balls, capping off the highest chase on the ground.
While Green could not answer where he thought was the turning point of the game, he pointed out that Tallawahs batted really well and also added that the loss meant they need to win against Trinbago Knight Riders to reach into the top two.
Earlier in the match with another bold move for the Warriors, Cameron Delport was promoted up the order to open with Luke Ronchi.
Delport was lucky, edging an attempted slog off of Samuel Badree that raced past the wicket keeper to register his second boundary. Ronchi got into the action, cracking Thomas into the fence but the tall seamer had his revenge, having the New Zealander pushing ever so softly into the hands of Powell at short cover to move to 15 wickets in the tournament, the most by any bowler and leave Warriors 18-1.
However, Shimron Hetmyer joined Delport and the two complemented each other to grind the powerplay for 42 runs.
Delport continued his assault, smashing local boy Steven Jacobs into the Presidential Box at long on to end the seventh over and bring up the team’s half century.
The 40-run partnership was broken with Delport trying to clear the long on boundary only for a leaping Powell to pull off a superb one handed catch, millimeters away from the boundary, silencing the Grass Mound Stand.
Delport’s 32 came from 23 balls and included four boundaries and a single six as the Warriors were limited to 72-2 at the half way stage.
Hetmyer rocking back to pull a short delivery from Sodhi picked out Colin de Grandhomme at wide long on.
He made 48.
Jason Mohammed took a liking to Ish Sodhi, clobbering him for back-to-back sixes, then edging a delivery from Thomas past fine leg to move on to 49.
He brought up his first half century of this season with a single. Chadwick Walton joined the festivities, carving a delivery from Thomas into the square leg boundary for a six, then smashing another delivery to mid-wicket for a four. Mohammed, then fell for 54 miscuing a shot that went straight into the air.