Sunday 20th July 2014 – Providence, Guyana: A sell out crowd at the Providence Stadium was treated to a fantastic match between the Guyana Amazon Warriors and the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League. This was set to be one of the games of the tournament from the very beginning. The Amazon Warriors, the best bowling side, taking on the Tallawahs, the best batting side. These teams were last year’s finalists and the only two undefeated sides in this edition of the tournament leading into this match. As it was, it was the Jamaican side that prevailed thanks to the batting of Chadwick Walton and the bowling of Daniel Vettori.
The Tallawahs found a way to make runs against this excellent Amazon Warriors attack where other teams have failed, making the highest total against the Guyanese so far this season. It is not often that Chris Gayle plays second fiddle in an opening partnership, but Walton was the man who starred at the top of the order for the Jamaicans. Fresh from an undefeated 43 in his last match, Walton set about putting together 53 off 42 balls, his highest score in the CPL.
Walton departed to Sunil Narine as he tried to hit the off spinner over long on, only to be well caught in the deep by Lendl Simmons. With Walton gone, the responsibility for getting the Tallawahs to a winning total rested with Australian, Adam Voges. He was well set on 29 at the fall of Walton’s wicket, but was still going at less than a run a ball. He accelerated well finishing with 48 runs off 43 balls. In partnership with Andre Russell, he pushed the Jamaican total to 148 off their 20 overs. Against this strong Amazon Warriors bowling line up, that represented an excellent effort by the Tallawahs.
For once Krishmar Santokie proved expensive, going at close to 10 runs an over off his allocation, but Narine was back to his economical best. He conceded just 14 runs off his overs to help keep the powerful Tallawahs batting line up shackled. New Zealander Jimmy Neesham also bowled a parsimonious spell, picking up two wickets for 21 runs.
Rather surprisingly considering how well Martin Guptill did in the previous match, he was replaced at the top of the Amazon Warriors order by his countryman, Neesham. This move was not a complete success as Neesham never really got going. Just as he started to find some freedom, he mistimed a pull shot off Rusty Theron to see him caught at mid on for 16.
Lendl Simmons remained in the opening spot he has made his own, as he carried his bat through the innings for a well made 68, but it was not enough to see his side home. His inability to find the boundary at the death meant that the run rate just kept climbing.
Nikita Miller came back from an expensive first over that went for 13 runs to bring the Amazon Warriors in check. He finished with figures of one for 27, picking up the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez who was bowled trying to cut a ball that was too close for the shot. His figures may have been even better had Gayle not dropped a stiff chance off Denesh Ramdin when the opposing skipper was on seven.
The pick of the Tallawah bowlers was veteran left arm spinner, Daniel Vettori. He conceded just 15 runs off his four overs in what turned out to be a match winning spell, his second excellent return in as many matches.
In the penultimate over, a high full toss from Jerome Taylor was edged by Ramdin into his helmet, breaking the grill but thankfully leaving the batsman unscathed. Despite the helmet taking the force of the blow, the Amazon Warriors support staff decided it was best for Ramdin to retire and Christopher Barnwell came to the crease. He proceeded to hit his first ball for six to leave his side needing eleven off the final over.
Andre Russell was given the responsibility of bowling the last over, and he managed to keep the home team down to just six runs as the Amazon Warriors failed to find the rope. A six was needed off the last ball for the win, but Barnwell could not repeat the shot he managed in the previous over as the Tallawahs ran out winners by four runs.