In the first of three playoff matches, the Warriors won the toss and put Tallawahs into bat on a good batting pitch, but Warriors bowling cramped the Tallawahs during the Power Play segment even though Chadwick Walton and Chris Gayle put on 33 runs before Walton was out for 16.
Soon, Gayle played-on to be dismissed for 33 off 36 balls that was to mark Tallawahs struggle throughout their innings, as wickets fell at regular periods.
Big hitters Rovman Powell and Andre Russell showed their intent, but after they were out at 123 for 5, Tallawahs were hard pressed to score freely. By then it was clear that achieving a formidable score was not on the cards. Their innings ended at 146 for 8 off 20 overs.
Warriors innings was frequently interrupted by rain, but it was a chase that enabled Australia’s Chris Lyn to pass 400 runs for the season, making him the leading run scorer for 2016 in the CPL tournament.
It was not all easy for the Warriors though. The departure of Lyn seemed to decelerate the Warriors run chase. But Sohail Tanvir and Rayad Emrit steered Warriors out of the slump with some power hitting late in the innings. In the end, Warriors played their way to a win of 150 for 6, with just balls to spare.
Earlier in the day, at a press conference held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, Andre Russell of the Tallawahs and Amazon Warriors captain Rayad Emrit sounded the alarm that they will not take their match lightly.
The Tallawahs finished second in the table going into the playoffs and was the only team in this season to win all their home matches. However, the recent lack of form of their talisman and captain Chris Gayle were said to be worrying by fans.
Some pundits even went as far to rate the Tallawahs as a one-man team given their reliance on Gayle, but Russell dismissed that notion. “I don’t think we’re a one man team or a two man team or a three man team. We’ve been doing extremely well. I’ve seen games where I’ve failed, Chris failed and other players didn’t really get off and we got to 190. These were games that were important,” Russell explained.
Meanwhile, Emrit was heartened by his team’s performance and their fighting spirit. Emrit took up the Warriors captaincy after the departure of Martin Guptil who had to return to New Zeeland for national cricket duty. Emrit was not worried about the lack of fire power in the batting order. For him, the team’s fighting spirit is enough to will them to victory.
According to Emrit, “These guys have won games for us and put us in good positions…the lower order hasn’t really given us the runs that we wanted, but we just ask that somebody in lower order gives us a quick 30, 20 off 12, 10 balls and that’s what we ask from the lower order.”