Shakib, Gayle rescue Tallawahs from 2 for 4
Jamaica Tallawahs overcame a dramatic top-order collapse, that saw them slump to 2 for 4 in the first seven balls, to chase down 129 against Guyana Amazon Warriors at Sabina Park. Shakib Al Hasan and Chris Gayle, who batted at No. 7, put on an unbeaten 87-run stand to take Tallawahs home.
Gayle had injured his back while fielding in the first innings and left the field in the 17th over, which meant he could not bat for the first 18 minutes of the chase. The win pushed Tallawahs to second on the points table, behind Amazon Warriors who have played seven games.
Two wickets from Sohail Tanvir within the first five balls and the run-out of Andre McCarthy, who failed to slide his bat in despite making his ground, in the first over left Tallawahs tottering. Their situation got worse when Kumar Sangakkara was adjudged caught behind off debutant Ali Khan’s first ball, in the second over. The Kingston crowd was stunned and a padded-up Gayle was watching from the dressing room, counting down his minutes.
Andre Russell, batting at No. 6, put the chase on track by hitting a six and a four in the first four balls he faced. He clubbed a 15-ball 24 but was dismissed when Adam Zampa took a one-handed diving catch at backward square leg off Veerasammy Permaul at the end of the fifth over. To the crowd’s respite, Gayle finally walked out with the score 45 for 5.
Shakib and Gayle, who has not opened the batting on just three other occasions in his T20 career, provided impetus from the outset – six boundaries were struck in the first 12 balls of their partnership. Tallawahs needed 50 runs from 13 overs at that stage with a required rate of under four. One boundary was hit in the next six overs but Tallawahs cantered to the target with 25 balls to spare.
After being inserted to bat, Amazon Warriors lost captain Martin Guptill, playing his last game of the season, for a duck.
Chris Lynn struck an 18-ball 33 and Jason Mohammed anchored the innings with a 51-ball 46 but a failure to put together substantial partnerships meant Amazon Warriors could only post 128. Dale Steyn finished with 2 for 31 and best bowler was Pakistan left-arm spinner Imad Wasim who bowled an economical spell of 4-0-12-2. (ESPNCricinfo)
Cover photo caption: Chris Gayle hammered a 29-ball 45 at No. 7