Tallawahs rout Warriors to claim second CPL title
A rematch from Wednesday’s first Caribbean Premier League playoff qualifier between the regular season’s top two teams quickly turned into an uncontested romp for Jamaica Tallawahs, who rampaged past Guyana Amazon Warriors by nine wickets to claim their second CPL title on Sunday night at Warner Park. For Warriors, it was a flat effort that left them runner-up for the third time in four CPL seasons, twice to Tallawahs.
Warriors were the regular season table-toppers and beat Tallawahs in two of their prior three meetings, including by four wickets in Wednesday’s opening playoff match. On Sunday, however, they stumbled badly after being sent in by Chris Gayle at the toss and were bowled out for a franchise record low total of 93 in just 16.1 overs. Warriors never won a game while batting first in 2016, and lost all three games in which they batted first, with two of those losses coming against Tallawahs.
Warriors were under pressure early when Nic Maddinson became the first of three batsmen dismissed first ball, edging Andre Russell behind in the first over. A bigger blow came at the start of the third over when Chris Lynn, the tournament’s leading scorer, carved Shakib Al Hasan straight to Jonathan Foo at backward point for 7.
Left-handed Sohail Tanvir was promoted up the order to No. 4 in an attempt to combat the left-arm spin threat posed by Shakib and Imad Wasim. At an individual level, the plan worked as Tanvir top-scored with 42 off 37 balls, but the rest of his team-mates struggled. Despite Tanvir’s calm, chaos was ever-present at the opposite end. Dwayne Smith was one of just two others apart from Tanvir to reach double-figures but his stay ended for 17 when he top-edged a pull off Oshane Thomas to Rovman Powell at mid-on to make it 50 for 3 in the eighth.
With the top three removed, Shakib and eventual Man of the Match Imad Wasim set about tearing through the middle order in ruthless fashion. Jason Mohammed was trapped playing down the wrong line to an arm ball from Shakib for a golden duck to make it 53 for 4 before Imad took the first of his three wickets as Christopher Barnwell mistimed a slog to Gayle at short midwicket for 10. Two balls later, Anthony Bramble was bowled backing away for a slog and Imad claimed his third in four balls to start the 15th when Rayad Emrit was stumped for nought missing a flick to a leg-side wide to make it 83 for 7.
Kesrick Williams also was on a hat-trick in the 16th over – he had Tanvir caught by Foo running in from the midwicket boundary, and followed it up with a gem of a delivery that jagged back in to knock Steven Jacobs’ off stump for 7. Adam Zampa survived the hat-trick ball to end the over, but was out one ball later after failing to ground his bat coming back for a second run with Williams’ relay from long leg to Sangakkara producing the end of the innings.
Gayle propelled the chase with his third fifty-plus score of the season, reaching his half-century off 22 balls and ending up with 54 off 27 balls. He was dismissed flicking Emrit to Jacobs at deep midwicket.
The Tallawahs captain ended the campaign as his side’s leading scorer with 425 runs, third overall behind Lynn and St Lucia Zouks’ Johnson Charles. Gayle’s opening partner Chadwick Walton steered the rest of the chase with 25 not out, ending seventh overall in the CPL run charts with 301 runs and second for Tallawahs.
However, it was the old pro Kumar Sangakkara who struck the winning runs with a four smeared wide of long-on off Veerasammy Permaul to clinch the title with 7.1 overs to spare. Russell was named Player of the Tournament thanks in large part to his scintillating 100 in Friday’s knockout game against Trinbago Knight Riders. Russell struck the fastest century in Caribbean T20 history, off just 42 balls, and also broke a three-game Tallawahs losing streak lifting them into the final. (ESPNCricinfo)