Terrific Tallawahs!
Perry hails Jamaican franchise for fantastic CPL victory
Jamaica Tallawahs celebrate winning the 2022 Hero Caribbean Premier League after the final against Barbados Royals at Providence Stadium in Guyana on Friday, September 30, 2022. (Photo: CPL via Getty Images)

Former West Indies cricketer Nehemiah Perry admitted the Jamaica Tallawahs' triumphant run to the 2022 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 (T20) title was a bit of a surprise, because heading into the tournament they did not appear as strong as some of the other teams.

But the former Jamaica off-spinner told the Jamaica Observer that, in the end, the Tallawahs' team chemistry, camaraderie, and sheer determination trumped their talented rivals.

"I, personally, wasn't really confident the Tallawahs would've won it. I wanted them to win, but when I looked at the other teams I thought they had better teams on paper," he said on Saturday after the Tallawahs upstaged Barbados Royals by eight wickets in the CPL final late on Friday.

"But I've always said a team is what you need rather than individuals, because you will have individual stars and not get the results. The Tallawahs gelled well, they played together as a team and that [winning the CPL] was the end result," Perry added.

The Rovman Powell-captained Tallawahs entered the championship match at Providence Stadium in Guyana with the underdog tag after the table-topping Royals ran through the preliminary stage with hardly a stutter, losing only twice in 10 matches.

The Royals then defeated Guyana Amazon Warriors in Qualifier 1 to secure their spot in the final.

The Tallawahs' path to Friday's contest was a bumpy one. They triumphed in three of their first four matches, but then won only one of the next six — one of those was rained out — to snatch the fourth and final play-off spot.

The Jamaica franchise defeated St Lucia Kings in the Eliminator and Guyana Amazon Warriors in Qualifier 2 to progress to Friday's showpiece.

The Tallawahs held that momentum as player of the match Fabian Allen (3-24), Nicholson Gordon (3-33) and Imad Wasim (1-18) combined to restrict the Royals to 161-7 from their allotted 20 overs.

Opening batsman Brandon King, who tallied a tournament-high 422 runs, then thrilled spectators with a classy 83 not out to rocket the Tallawahs to 162-2 in 16 overs and a ball. Shamarh Brooks contributed an elegant 47, while Powell was left unbeaten on 14.

It was the first in the 10-year history of the CPL that the fourth-placed team at the end of the preliminaries had gone on to lift the winners' trophy. Perry praised Powell's leadership throughout the tournament, while noting that the Tallawahs seemed to peak when it mattered most.

"Kudos to them, I thought the captain led from the front. They played a perfect game in the final… restricting the Royals to 160-odd was a really a par score on that pitch because I think the pitch played fantastically well," he said.

"They started the season brilliantly and won some games and looked good. And then they tapered off a little in the middle and peaked again at the right time.

"It was a fantastic team effort and everybody seemed to understand their role. Everybody seemed very focused and was very determined to prove everyone wrong. Remember, the Tallawahs lost [all-rounder Andre] Russell [to Trinbago Knight Riders] and people thought it was a big negative… but they managed to overcome all the obstacles and distraction and put everything behind them," Perry noted. The Tallawahs now have three CPL titles after previously winning in 2013 and 2016.

—Sanjay Myers

Jamaica Tallawahs celebrate winning the 2022 Hero Caribbean Premier League after the final against Barbados Royals at Providence Stadium in Guyana on Friday, September 30, 2022. (Photo: CPL via Getty Images)
Brandon King (left) and Rovman Powell of Jamaica Tallawahs celebrate victory at the end of the Hero Caribbean Premier League final match against Barbados Royals at Providence Stadium in Guyana on Friday. (Photo: CPL via Getty Images)
Jason Holder of Barbados Royals (right) is bowled by Imad Wasim (out of picture) of Jamaica Tallawahs as wicketkeeper Kennar Lewis reacts during the Hero Caribbean Premier League final at Providence Stadium on Friday. (Photo: CPL via Getty Images)
Sanjay Myers

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