Cricket

Piecing the puzzle

Tallawahs coach, captain scope solution for bowling woes

Saturday, September 14, 2019

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With the bowling department once again failing for a third-straight game at the top of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 season, the Jamaica Tallawahs camp has seemingly ran out of ideas.

Head Coach Donovan Miller and captain Chris Gayle are struggling to find the solution to their bowling dilemma, as they took another plundering, this time in a five-wicket loss to St Lucia Zouks in the first of five home games at Sabina Park on Thursday.

The Zouks comfortably chased down the Tallawahs 170-5 with consummate ease, reaching 171-5 with 20 balls to spare on the back of Rahkeem Cornwall's 30-ball 75, and Andre Fletcher's unbeaten 47, as the bowling once again failed to ask any real questions of the opponents.

Tallawahs' innings was led by Glenn Phillips with 58 and Rovman Powell, 44, who repaired the damage with an 87-run, third-wicket stand after losing Gayle and Chadwick Walton cheaply.

Like it was in their record-breaking encounter against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots when they went down by four wickets after posting 241, Gayle was again left pondering what could have been.

“It is a disappointing one to be honest, but St Lucia bowled well, eventually we got a partnership early and then they pegged us back and once we lost [Andre] Russell they were back in, and they capitalised on that, so you have to give them credit.

“So we still need to actually improve in certain areas in the batting department, but what's killing us is really the first six overs with our bowling department, so that's something we really need to pay real attention to,” Gayle said in a post-game TV interview.

Gayle pointed out that his team tried to emulate the short pitch execution that worked well for the Zouks's bowling attack, but the gulf in class was such that his Tallawahs bowlers kept misfiring.

Young seamer Oshane Thomas eventually returned to snare 3-26, including a maiden in his four overs, after Shamar Springer and debutant Ramaal Lewis got the first two wickets.

“Yeah, I mean we have the quality bowlers to do such things but when you are bowling to Cornwall and Fletcher, two very attacking batters, and once they had the momentum as well, they were always going to put our bowlers under pressure,” Gayle admitted.

“But our bowlers are experienced enough, and they should have actually tried and peg it back and try different things. But you know, a few plans didn't work, but like I said, we'll go back to the drawing board quickly tonight (Thursday), and then we'll be ready for Trinidad tomorrow (yesterday),” he added.

With the Jamaican franchise winless and pointless in three games so far, Miller is hoping that the bowling department will eventually pull its weight.

“It is hard to explain what is happening because I don't think we can plan anymore. I don't think we could discuss how we are going to play anymore; we spent all day looking at footage, and we knew exactly how the wicket was going to play.

“We saw how they bowled on the wicket, but we are still not doing it, so I am very disappointed. We have enough experience out there, but we have to pull our fingers out and someone is going to have to stand up with the ball,” a seemingly frustrated Miller shared.

“But I am so impressed with young Shemar Springer and Ramaal Lewis, they are the development players in the team and the way they bowled and threw themselves around in the field was a positive to take from that,” he added.

—Sherdon Cowan


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