Guyana Amazon Warriors 118 (King 29, Brathwaite 3-14, Lamichhane 3-18) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 104 for 7 (Russell 52*, Green 2-10) by 14 runs
A valiant effort from Andre Russell with the bat fell just short in the Jamaica Tallawahs’ chase after a sterling spin-bowling display by Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Sandeep Lamichhane in the first innings was neutralised by Chris Green as the Guyana Amazon Warriors battled back after being bowled out for 118 to record a dramatic 14-run win at the Brian Lara Academy.
What seemed a simple target at the innings break turned into a steep uphill climb moments after the start of the reply as Green shocked the Tallawahs top order to leave them reeling at 4 for 3 in the fourth over. The middle order soon went into their shell, culminating in 80 dot balls out of the 120 legal deliveries as the Warriors set a new mark for the lowest total successfully defended in CPL history.
Mujeeb mixes his speeds
The Afghanistan mystery spinner was too much to handle for the Warriors, dismantling a red-hot start in the powerplay from Brandon King and Chandrapaul Hemraj. After darting in his stock ball close to 100kph, Mujeeb gave it more air and teased King into a slog on a fuller length but the missed swipe resulted in the leg bail being dislodged. Mujeeb then went back to a quicker, skiddier delivery to greet Shimron Hetmyer, who played for the turn when there was none and dragged a cut onto his leg stump to put Mujeeb on a hat trick.
Two overs later, Mujeeb was at it again against Nicholas Pooran. To a similar line and length ball with which Hetmyer was dismissed, Pooran played for no turn. But on a delivery that was given more air, it produced more turn and clipped the outside edge of an attempted cut for a catch to be snatched by Glenn Phillips. From 56 for no loss, Mujeeb’s intervention had reduced the Warriors to 67 for 4.
Lamichhane brings the Sand-storm
The inability of the Warriors batsmen to handle Lamichhane’s turn resulted in a marvellous display of both economy and wickets, as the Nepal legspinner ended with 2 for 8 from his four overs. The first wicket came with a bit of fortune as Sherfane Rutherford’s attempted cut to a googly that spun far enough out of reach resulted in a thick edge flying to Mujeeb at short third man.
Lamichhane then fooled Green with a legbreak for his second wicket as the Warriors captain went too far across his stumps and was bowled around his pads to leave the Warriors at 92 for 7. Carlos Brathwaite helped clean up the tail to end with three wickets as the Warriors were bowled out with five balls left unused.
Russell left to clean up top-order mess
Green has been a galvanising leader in his short time as the Warriors captain and proved it on this occasion with an inspiring opening spell. He struck with the first ball of the Tallawahs’ reply, trapping Chadwick Walton lbw with an arm ball. In the third over, he was aided by an extremely favourable decision from umpire Gregory Brathwaite when Nkrumah Bonner missed a pull to a half-tracker that struck Bonner near the waistline. Debutant left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd followed up in the next over, gaining extra bounce off his first ball to induce a false cut to point by Phillips, leaving the Tallawahs shell-shocked.
By the time Russell arrived in the 13th over it was 48 for 5, soon to be 50 for 6 when Rovman Powell flat-batted a slower bouncer from Naveen-ul-Haq to long-on. Accompanied by Lamichhane and then Fidel Edwards for the rest of the innings, Russell regularly turned down singles as he decided on boundaries or nothing as the way to an increasingly unlikely victory. The strategy almost paid off.
With 60 needed from four overs, Russell bashed a pair of boundaries over midwicket and third man off Keemo Paul in an 11-run over. He then began the 18th over tonking Imran Tahir for back-to-back sixes over the leg side before a cut was misfielded at point to provide another boundary. With 32 needed off 12 balls, he creamed a slower ball from Naveen over midwicket again for six before edging an attempted yorker through third man for four.
Suddenly, 22 from ten looked very gettable. But Naveen held his nerve, mixing up his pace through the final four balls to hold Russell scoreless, an effort which helped earn him Player-of-the-Match award. Edwards took a single off Paul to begin the final over, but Russell scuffed the next two balls to boundary riders, leaving a Tallawahs victory mathematically impossible barring any extras.
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