Russell's heroics propel Tallawahs past Warriors
JAMAICA Tallawahs' Andre Russell bludgeoned a huge six off the last ball of the innings to propel the reigning champions to a six-wicket win over rivals Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 (T20) match at Sabina Park yesterday.
The West Indies T20 cricket star plundered an unbeaten 58 off a mere 24 deliveries in the Tallawahs successful chase of 138-4 to round off his Man-of-the-Match display.
Before, he was electric in the field, while holding onto three catches and he also grabbed 1-10 to help limit the pesky Amazon Warriors to 137-9 off their allotted 20 overs on an uneven-paced batting strip.
Scores: Amazon Warriors 137-9 (20 overs); Tallawahs 138-4 (20 overs).
The victory pushed the Tallawahs to 10 points from six matches, while the Guyana franchise, last season's second-placed finisher, is on eight from seven.
Vitally for the Tallawahs, it was a second consecutive victory in front of home fans after Thursday's defeat of Antigua Hawksbills. Russell was expectedly exultant at orchestrating it.
"It was a good day for me in the field and even with the ball. And then, what a way to end the game!" he said in a post-match television interview.
The Amazon Warriors captain Denesh Ramdin said it was a close match that "came down to the last two overs" and "could have gone any way".
Earlier, the hosts won the toss and sent the Amazon Warriors to take first strike.
But they slumped to 23-2 in the fifth over as they lost opener Martin Guptill and number three batsman Mohammad Hafeez.
Guptill, the New Zealander, hit a few confident strokes, but then played inside the line of a straight delivery from his compatriot, the slow left-arm orthodox bowler Daniel Vettori and was bowled for 15.
Hafeez went for five when he top-edged a cut shot off a short delivery from seamer David Bernard. The catch was plucked from the air by the leaping wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton.
Opener Lendl Simmons and Ramdin took the score to 59 before the latter, receiving a slower ball from fast bowler Jerome Taylor, tugged it to the on-side but found Russell running around at long-on to accept the chance. Ramdin made only three.
Simmons (34), Christopher Barnwell (23) and Veerasammy Permaul (one) followed not long after as the Amazon Warriors crept to 126-7 in the 19th over.
There was amazing luck for Stephen Jacobs when a full-pitched delivery from Theron cannoned into the leg stump but did not dislodge the bails as the ball flew down to fine leg for four byes. However, the very next delivery he was bowled for nought.
James Neesham, who cracked 35 off 26 balls, was the ninth man dismissed when he flat-batted a Taylor delivery to Russell at long-off. Taylor, who took four wickets against the Hawksbills, was again impressive, using plenty of variation in his 3-14 off four overs yesterday.
In reply, Jamaica Tallawahs stuttered with the loss of captain Christopher Gayle for 22 at 39-2, but an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 76 runs from only 40 balls between Russell and Owais Shah, who ended on 21 not out, turned the tide.
The powerful Russell, who batted at five, was particularly destructive, while launching half-a-dozen sixes and three fours in his whirlwind knock.
With 10 runs needed off the last two balls, Russell nailed a Neesham full toss for four over cover and launched an attempted yorker over wide long-on, several rows up into the George Headley Stand to leave an almost full Sabina Park in rapture.
Hafeez took two wickets for the Warriors.
The Tallawahs entertain Barbados Tridents today at Sabina in their final home match of the 2014 CPL campaign.