Jamaica Tallawahs 113 for 5 (Bonner 30*) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 108 for 9 (Mujeeb 3-11, Edwards 3-30) by five wickets
It wasn’t pretty but the Jamaica Tallawahs made sure not to repeat the same chasing blunders they committed against Guyana Amazon Warriors earlier in the tournament, winning a battle of attrition to chase a target of 109 by five wickets with two overs to spare at Queen’s Park Oval. On a slow wicket which made for unattractive strokeplay, the Tallawahs suffocated the Amazon Warriors from ball one when Fidel Edwards cleaned up Brandon King with a yorker to give them an early advantage they never relinquished.
Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and Sandeep Lamichhane built on the early work done by Edwards with stifling spells of spin bowling to restrict the Amazon Warriors to 63 for 7 in the 15th over before some late hitting from Imran Tahir prevented the Amazon Warriors from registering their lowest CPL total and got them past 100.
Unlike the last time these two teams met when the Amazon Warriors set a CPL record for the lowest total successfully defended, the Tallawahs took a largely conservative approach to ensure the feat was not repeated. Only three players had a strike rate above 100 in the chase, the last of them being Andre Russell whose late flurry of sixes settled any nerves in the Tallawahs dugout.
Edwards puts on a vintage display
The 38-year-old fast bowler looked like he was bowling with the energy of someone half his age. King never moved his feet to adequately account for the first-ball yorker that pinged the base of middle stump. Edwards showed he still has the pace to bang it in short to good effect too, suckering Anthony Bramble into pulling to deep midwicket, one of the only two boundary riders in the Powerplay, to make it 17 for 3. He came back later on in his death spell to claim a third with the yorker again, trapping Keemo Paul in front of leg stump.
Mystery spin twins tie up Warriors again
In the first match-up between the two sides, Mujeeb and Lamichhane wrecked the Amazon Warriors line-up only to see their efforts wasted in a clumsy chase. That was not to be this time as the pair reprised their dominance from the first encounter between the two sides.
Mujeeb was marvellous in a Man-of-the-Match display, striking in the second over with the new ball when he made the most of an extra delivery following a wide on the last ball of the over to trap Hetmyer prodding forward on what was a generous decision from the umpire to uphold his appeal for lbw. However, no luck was involved in the wicket of Nicholas Pooran as a carom ball skidded in from a good length to catch Pooran flat-footed and tardy in bringing his bat down, unable to keep it from crashing into middle stump.
Lamichhane got into the act in the 12th over. After Pooran opted to safely cut a steady diet of googlies with the spin through the off side, Sherfane Rutherford took the much riskier option of trying to slog against the turn of the googly resulting in a skied chance to extra cover. Mujeeb returned to cap off his haul of 3 for 11 by getting Green to poke an edge to Rovman Powell at slip. From 63 for 7, only some adventurous hitting by Naveen-ul-Haq and Tahir took Amazon Warriors into three figures.
Tallawahs determined not to let history repeat
After stumbling badly in pursuit of 119 the first time these sides faced off at Brian Lara Academy, the Tallawahs employed a cautious approach for the majority of their chase, leaving the fireworks for another day. The Amazon Warriors did their best to exploit whatever demons remained on a wicket which offered uneven bounce throughout the match, dislodging five batsmen in the process.
There appeared some hope for the Amazon Warriors when Powell threw away his wicket with a heave off Ashmead Nedd to long-off, followed two overs later by a toe edge off the bat of Jermaine Blackwood – the most fluent Tallawahs batsman in the chase – that gave Naveen his second wicket and left the chase at 62 for 5 in the 11th over.
But Nkrumah Bonner patiently stroked the ball around the infield, playing late with soft hands and mostly off the back foot to account for the variable bounce. Russell too was circumspect in the first half of his innings as the Tallawahs allowed the required run rate to climb above a run a ball with five overs to go. It was then that Russell finally chose Tahir to attack, clubbing him over the roof at long-on for six. He began the 17th with a flat six off Paul into the Amazon Warriors dugout before Bonner ended the match off the last ball of the 18th with another six over long-on off Naveen.