BY JOHN RAMSINGH TA WARNER PARK, BASSETERRE
The Jamaica Tallawahs became the first team to win two titles with a nine-wicket drubbing of the Guyanafinals Amazon Warriors in the final of the Hero Caribbean Premier League 2016 at a packed Warner Park in sweet St. Kitts and Nevis on Sunday night.
The Warriors were looking for their first title after making it to the finals on two other occasions but it was not to be as the Tallawahs proved that they wanted the title more.
Asked to make 94 from all of 20 overs the Tallawahs raced to their target and their second title in four years with 43 balls to spare. The run chase was set up nicely by openers Chris Gayle and Chadwick Walton who put on 79 in just under 10 overs. Gayle played a typically aggressive innings to get to 54 from 27 balls with six towering maximums and three fours with a strike rate of 200 runs per 100 balls. Walton was contented to be a witness of the Gayle storm from the non-strikers end to end on 25 from 36 balls with two fours while Kumar Sangakkara hit the winning runs to end on 12 from 15 balls with the final delivery of the tournament ending up in the third man boundary.
Rayad Emrit who was desperately looking for wickets to win the maiden title for the Warriors used five bowlers to try to stop the Gayle force but was unable to do so. Emrit himself was the lone wicket taker after Gayle was snapped up by Steven Jacobs. Emrit ended with figures of 3-0-13-1. However, the Tallawahs victory was set up by their bowlers who did a wonderful job in restricting the consistent Warriors to under 100 in good conditions for cricket.
The Warriors were sent in after the Tallawahs Captain; Chris Gayle thought it will be best to switch things up on the Warriors who won all eight of their matches by chasing. The decision immediately paid off when Nic Maddinson edged the fourth delivery of the match behind to Kumar Sangakkara for a first ball duck. Warriors were immediately on the back foot at 1/1. The tournament’s leading run scorer, Chris Lynn walked out to join Dwayne Smith but he didn’t last long. After hitting a sweetly timed cover drive off Imad Wasim, next over he offered a simple catch to Jonathan Foo at cover off of Shakib Al-Hassan’s first delivery of the match. The Warriors wanted a good start from the top order but it was not to be as the Tallawahs left arm spinners were all over them.
The Amazon Warriors marque player Sohail Tanvir joined the party and showed his class with the bat in hitting the top score of 42 (37 balls; 6×4) and was looking to rebuild the innings but wasn’t getting the support. He added 41 with Dwayne Smith in just under six overs and once they were separated the rest of the batting fell away cheaply. Smith offered a dolly of a catch to Rovman Powell at long on for a patient 17 from 22 balls with a solitary four and a six.
During the partnership the Warriors 50 came up half way through the eight over after being at 34/2 at the end of the Power Play. However, the last eight Warriors batsmen fell for 43 runs in eight overs to be all out for 93 from 16.1 overs and committing a major sin of not batting the full 20 overs.
The consistent Jason Mohammed was sent back leg before wicket to Shakib for a first ball duck in the ninth over after which Christopher Barnwell (10; 16 balls; 1×6) stuck around a little on the uncharacteristically slow Warner Park track but after hitting Wasim for a maximum over midwicket he gave Gayle a simple catch next ball to keep the slide going for the Warriors 70-5 in the 13th over. Next ball Anthony Bramble survived a confident appeal for leg before wicket then followed it up with a wild swipe and was bowled. The Warriors were wounded at 70-6 at the end of the 13th over.
Captain Rayad Emrit became the fourth batsman not to trouble the scorers when he wandered out of his crease and was stumped off a wide delivery from Wasim at the start of the 15th over. Tanvir was eight out after Kesrick Williams (2-12) cleaned up the tail. Imad Wasim was the best bowler for new champions with three for 24 while Shakib had two wickets for 25 from four tight overs.