Warriors' Walton, Ronchi stun Tallawahs

Observer staff reporter

Sunday, September 03, 2017

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It is Murphy's Law which states that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.

And indeed it went wrong all at once for defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs in their nine-wicket loss to Guyana Amazon Warriors in the 28th match of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 tournament on Friday night.

It was brutal, it was savage and it was a lopsided annihilation of the two-time champions in their final game at home ahead of the play-offs.

However, at least one Jamaican inside the half-filled Sabina Park enjoyed the night's action, Chadwick Walton, whose Man-of-the-Match performance made a meal of the Tallawahs' below-par total of 149-7, and lifting the Warriors to victory with all of 57 balls to spare.

The wicketkeeper/batsman made a mockery of his former franchise on his way to the top of the scoring chart, smashing an unbeaten 84 off 40 balls, in a record 135-run stand with New Zealand wicketkeeper/batsman Luke Ronchi, who ended unbeaten on 55 off 29 balls.

This is the highest partnership for any wicket in this year's fifth staging of the tournament and it came off a mere 65 balls.

Scores: Jamaica Tallawahs 149-7 (20 overs); Guyana Amazon Warriors 150-1 (10.3 overs).

The win saw the Warriors surge towards the final play-off berth in fourth place on 10 points, as their superior net run rate puts them in good stead to advance ahead of Barbados Tridents, who need to win their remaining two games to join the Warriors on 10 points.

The Tridents will have to beat second-placed St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (11 points) and first-placed Trinbago Knight Riders (16 points) in their final two matches by sizable margins to overtake them.

Meanwhile, the Tallawahs remained in second place on 12 points, but will have to await the result of the final game for the Patriots, to know if they hold that place or are relegated to third place.

After winning the toss and taking first strike, the Tallawahs once again had a shaky start, losing openers Glenn Phillips (10) and Lendl Simmons (15) with just 26 runs on the board.

However, a 79-run, third-wicket stand between inform captain Kumar Sangakkara and Andre McCarthy offered some assurance and lined up the Tallawahs nicely for a big total.

When McCarthy fell in the 14th over for 44 off 35 balls, including four boundaries and three sixes, it was up to Sangakkara to carry on if they were to achieve the target.

But he fell 12 runs short of what would be a fourth consecutive half-century when another attempted paddle flick failed and he was caught by Jason Mohammed off his counterpart Rayad Emrit for 38.

With both set batsmen gone and the score at 120-4, the Tallawahs limped through to the end of the innings, adding a mere 29 runs off the final four overs.

The Warriors chase was an eventful one as the Tallawahs bowlers struggled with their run-ups and gave away all of seven free hits – most if not all of which went into the boundary ropes – due to front foot no-balls.

Oshane Thomas, who began his first match on Wednesday night with three dots including the wicket of Chris Gayle, had no such luck on Friday, with his first two deliveries being a pair of massive oversteps.

Walton smashed both free hits over square leg for six and the runs and no-balls continued unabated for the rest of the chase, even after Thomas recovered to remove Sohail Tanvir for a duck.

It was high drama in the sixth over bowled by Pakistani pace Mohammed Sami, who should have had Ronchi caught behind on 28, but Sangakkara failed to hold on.

One delivery later, Walton was put down on 48, after Rovman Powell and Mahmudullah Riyad failed to communicate in going for a catch at short midwicket and collided.

By the end of that over and the Powerplay, the Warriors were on 88-1, the joint-highest Powerplay in CPL history, equalling the Knight Riders' blistering chase earlier this year.

From then on there was no respite at the other end, as Walton and Ronchi comfortably took the Warriors home to their fourth consecutive victory and fifth of the campaign.

Both batsmen had opportunity to surpass the individual fastest half-century of the season – held jointly by Darren Sammy and Colin Munro, in 23 balls – but Walton, who hammered eight fours and six sixes in his knock, eventually reached his half-century in 26 balls, while Ronchi, who struck four boundaries and three sixes, took one more delivery.




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