Trying hard: Guyana Amazon Warriors opening batsman Lendl Simmons tries for a boundary during his top score of 40. It was not good enough as the Warriors were defeated by the Jamaica Tallawahs by seven wickets in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League T20 final at the Queen’s Park Oval Saturday night. At left is Tallawahs wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr. —Photo: Robert Taylor
Amazon Warriors dominated in Twenty20 final
That is how Jamaica Tallawahs skipper Chris Gayle described his team’s seven-wicket win over Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final of the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on Saturday night
Gayle, who was named Player-of-the-Match, batted through to the end of the innings, to finish unbeaten on 47 from 48 balls to lead the Tallawahs to 129 for three off 17.3 overs in reply to the Warriors’ 128 for five.
He shared an unbroken 62-run stand for the fourth wicket with Andre Russell to seal the win. Russell was unbeaten on 33 from just 18 balls with one six and five fours.
Despite putting up a mediocre total after losing the toss and being asked to bat first, the Amazon Warriors were still in the match, thanks to some tight bowling and excellent fielding that put the squeeze on Gayle and company.
Gayle’s uncharacteristically cautious knock, coupled with a similar approach from number three batsman Kumar Sangakkara (13 off 27 balls), gave the Warriors some hope of defending their total, but with wickets in hand and proven match-winners like Russell and Hyatt to come, the Tallawahs were never really in trouble.
The Tallawahs were 55 for one after ten overs and had slipped to 71 for three after 13, with Sangakkara falling to Christopher Barnwell and Jermaine Blackwood to Lasith Malinga.
Needing 58 to win from 42 balls, the Warriors still had a chance until Barnwell conceded 20 off his second over as the Tallawahs took control.
Krishmar Santokie then conceded 20 in the 17th over to all but seal the result. That over took 11 balls to be completed, thanks to five wide deliveries and by the end of it the Tallawahs needed just six from 18 balls.
Despite that lapse, Santokie was named Man-of-the-Series after finishing the tournament with 16 wickets.
After the match, Gayle was full of praise for his bowers saying: “I thought it was key but there might have been a twist if they had gotten more runs but I did not actually know the wicket was going to play second innings like that, so restricting them to under 130 was very good for us.”
The Amazon Warriors were pegged back early after David Bernard Jr struck in successive overs to dismiss opener William Perkins and Tillakaratne Dilshan, before Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin steered them out of trouble with a 52-run stand for the third wicket.
The Warriors were 29 for two after seven overs before the Trinidad and Tobago pair helped them reach 79 for two in the 15th over.
Simmons eventually fell for 40 (44 balls, three four and two sixes) caught at long off off Nikita Miller when he tried to accelerate the innings.
Ramdin was bowled by Gayle for 29 (34 balls, two fours, one six) before James Franklin and Barnwell ended the innings with a bang. Franklin (17 off nine balls, two sixes) smashed Gayle twice over long-on, while Barnwell (nine off seven balls) hit the final delivery of the innings straight back for four to help the Warriors post a respectable total.
But in the end, it was the Tallawahs celebrating, with their coach Paul Nixon describing the win as being “very sweet”.
“Mission completed. The guys stepped up to the plate on the big night. They fielded beautifully. We knew the Warriors had a serious bowling lineup and we knew we had to restrict their runs,” he said after the win.
The coach also praised the batsmen for their “mature” approach in the chase.
“The guys batted really maturely, especially Chris who went away from his game plan after a while and made sure he saw it through. For me the innings that Sangakkara played in the semi-final got us here.
He also recognised the “unsung heroes” in the side saying: “Nikita Miller--left arm spinner—who in every game was outstanding. Murali is obviously legendary. Andre Russell’s strike rate in this competition…I mean how can he be on the bench in the IPL, I do not know. I have never seen hitting like it in T20 cricket. No fear.
“We had a good side and I think we have a team of energy-givers,” he concluded.