Jamaica Tallawahs - 160/5 (18.5 overs)
Won by 5 wickets
A superb comeback for the Tallawahs after being 13/2 in 4.1 overs. First, it was Glenn Phillips who continued his exploits in the CPL to pull his side from the dearth with a quick-fire 44(29). Then, in a side filled with several world-class finishers, Asif Ali stood out to guide the team home.
With 45 needed in the last five, Asif made the task easier for his side in the 16th over. First, he came down the ground to hit a six off Zahir Khan and then, moved towards his left to paddle the ball to the fine-leg boundary. A 12 run over eased the equation. Throughout his innings of 47(27), Asif combined attack with caution, complimented power with a cheeky stroke-making.
In the next over, Kesrick Williams provided a sniff to the Zouks with foxing Andre Russell with a slower one. Attempting a hoick, Russell got a feather through to the keeper. After getting hit for 18 runs in his first over, Williams made a superb comeback as he ended with 2/32 off his four overs. For Russell, 16 runs at almost a run a ball provided another example of rustiness after a hiatus.
In the crucial 18th over, Carlos Brathwaite started with a flat batted four against Scott Kuggeleijn. Brathwaite slashed a wide one to Darren Sammy at deep point three balls later, who floored what could have been another chance for his side to make a comeback. Brathwaite reduced the target to a formality with a clean six over long-on the last ball of the over.
It was fitting that Asif Ali finished the game off with two boundaries in the 19th over. As compared to Zouks’ 49, the Tallawahs did not score of 46 balls in 18.5 overs. Looking ahead in the tournament, both teams need a marked improvement on this front
After gathering momentum towards the end of the powerplay, Glenn Phillips and Rovman Powell continued to attack. Phillips, the top-scorer in CPL since 2018, took Kesrick Williams for two sixes and a four in his first over. Powell then hit Zahir Khan for a four and a six on the leg side in the next over. Thus, the two added 53 in four overs either side of the powerplay to transfer the pressure to the Zouks.
Bowling his only over of the match, Cornwall had Powell hold out at deep-midwicket, thus ending a 63-run stand. In an effort to attack Williams again, Phillips mistimed a shot to long-on in the next over.
Asif Ali and Andre Russell then added 42 in the next five overs. While Russell was sedate, Ali played his shots and hit three boundaries along the way.
Talk about a bad start to an innings. The Zouks started with four different bowlers upfront and the Tallawahs’ batsmen had no clue on how to approach them.
By the first 4.1 overs, Tallawahs could add only 13 runs and managed to lose two wickets as well. The Kiwi Scott Kuggeleijn started well with a clear approach to be full and outside off stump. Next in was the Afghan Zahir Khan with his left arm wrist spin. He bamboozled Chadwick Walton who played out four dot balls in the over.
Obed McCoy got the reward of early pressure as Walton edged an attempted pull to mid-off in the next over. Then, it was Nicholas Kirton’s turn to play out four dot balls.
In the next over from Kuggeleijn, Mark Deyal added spark to the passage with a screamer of Kirton at deep on the leg side.
Zouk’s decision of changing bowlers early on proved correct after the treatment Kuggeleijn and Zahir received in their next turn. Glenn Phillips and Rovman Powell hit them for a six and a four each, both targeting different sides of the wicket.
St. Lucia Zouks – 158/7 (20 overs)
Batting in the last five overs was one of the biggest struggle for Zouks last season. Their run-rate of 8 in this phase in CPL 2019 was the least among all teams. In their first game of a new season, they started on a weaker note, adding 39 runs at 7.8 runs per over.
There was no shortage of promise. First when the fresh addition to the Zouks’s side, Mohammad Nabi attacked his compatriot Mujeeb Ur Rahman with a six and a four. But, a return catch in the same over controlled the ascendancy.
Then, Roston Chase attacked Andre Russell, lifting him for a six on the leg side along the way to his first half-century in T20 cricket. But, after Russell changed his line of attack by coming round the wicket and bowling full outside off, Zouks could not find boundaries from either end.
Overall in their innings, they did not score a run of 49 balls. In a T20 innings, it is criminal and can come to haunt them back.
Oshane Thomas had an economy of 11.6 in the last season. His struggle for rhythm in CPL continued. Bowling the first over after the powerplay he bowled four wides, all down the leg and conceded 11 runs in the over. Owing to him being scratchy, Rovman Powell had to turn to the sixth bowling option of Carlos Brathwaite.
However, with a replenished attack, the Tallawahs managed to bounce back. As he often does, Andre Russell provided a wicket as the set Andre Fletcher toe ended a pull to deep mid-wicket.
Roston Chase took over the baton of being the stabilizer while the young Afghan Najibullah Zadran attacked. The two combined offence with caution to add a half-century partnership in 39 balls.
Another addition to the Tallawahs’, Sandeep Lamichhane ended the partnership with a googly. Having hit a six of the same shot against him earlier, Zadran mistimed a slog sweep to the two colliding fielders at the cow corner.
The Zouks put enough runs in the first six overs to feel happy about the start. However, they lost one wicket too many for their liking.
St. Lucia Zouks scored at a run-rate of 9.1 in the powerplay in CPL 2019, the best by any team. Continuing from where he left off last season, Rahkeem Cornwall waited for just two balls before creaming two full ones from Oshane Thomas to the ropes.
In 2019, Jamaica’s bowlers bowled at an economy rate of 9.6 in the same phase, the worst by any team. However, beefing up their bowling attack delivered immediate rewards. Veerasammy Permaul, one of the best powerplay bowlers in CPL with an economy of 5.7 delivered in his first over. Making room to hit over the off-side, Cornwall could not go past the fielder at cover. This was just after Andre Russell, at mid-off, could not hang on to a difficult chance off Andre Fletcher in the same over.
In Permaul’s next over, Mark Deyal, the young Trinidadian went on the offensive. Just lifting the ball with a full face of the bat, Deyal hit him for two back to back sixes, one each over the cover and the next over mid-off. However, an edge to the keeper’s gloves on the last ball of the over ended his short stay.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, another addition to Tallawahs’ line-up this year proved his worth in the powerplay, bowling five dot balls to Fletcher in the fifth over.