Cricket

Records tumble as Tallawahs come up short against Knight Riders

Sunday, September 15, 2019

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Jamaica Tallawahs failed to get off the mark in their fourth outing of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 campaign, coming out on the losing end of a record-breaking encounter by 41 runs to Trinbago Knight Riders at Sabina Park on Friday.

It was carnage for the bowlers on a delightful batting strip, as Trinbago Knight Riders' 267-2 was the highest team total in CPL franchise cricket and the third highest overall, while Tallawahs' spirited response of 226-5 made it the second highest match aggregate in all T20 cricket — only four runs shy of the record.

However, a better fielding display could have assisted the bowlers significantly in the game, as 12 catches went down in the 40 overs, but the Tallawahs suffered the brunt of the punishment for their mishaps.

New Zealand's Colin Munro with a 50-ball unbeaten 96 and Lendl Simmons with a 42-ball 86, brutally capitalised on the Tallawahs' blunders in the field, in a second-wicket stand valuing 124 runs. Munro had six boundaries and eight sixes in his knock, while Simmons had eight boundaries and five sixes.

On the flip side, another New Zealander, Glenn Phillips, once again blazed the trail with a second-straight half-century for the Tallawahs, smashing a 32-ball 62, while young Ramaal Lewis with a 15-ball unbeaten 37, and Javelle Glen, 34 not out, entertained the crowd to the final delivery.

The win, which was the fourth on the trot for the Knight Riders, saw them back at the summit of the standings on eight points, while Tallawahs, with their fourth-straight defeat, remains rooted at the foot of the standing without a point.

Tallawahs are now required to win their remaining six fixtures — starting with Barbados Tridents today — to have any chance of making the play-offs.

Scores: Knight Riders 267-2 (20 overs); Tallawahs 226-5 (20 overs).

After winning the toss, Tallawahs Captain Chris Gayle opted to field first, hoping to break the jinx of having to defend a target with a weak bowling attack.

But the decision hardly proved a difference as the pitch offered very little to the pacers, who were again untidy in their display, particularly Jerome Taylor, who bowled four no balls and three wides in his spell.

Simmons was first put down when he attempted a loft of Taylor's first ball in the fourth over and edged to Phillips, who failed to hold on despite a brilliant one-handed attempt and that basically set the tone for the Tallawahs day in the field.

Three balls later, Simmons mistimed a slog straight into Rovman Powell's hands at midwicket only to find the umpire signalling another front-foot no-ball for Taylor.

Gayle introduced Afghanistan wrist-spinner Zahir Khan to bowl the final Powerplay over and he struck immediately, removing Sunil Narine (20) with Knight Riders at 55-1.

That brought Munro, last season's highest run-scorer to the middle for the first time in the 2019 campaign and he made his intentions clear from the very first ball, cutting Khan through covers, followed by a reverse sweep over point.

Simmons continued his assault at the other end, pulling Ramaal Lewis over deep midwicket, but was dropped by Taylor at wide long on next delivery, and again three balls later at deep cover. By then Knight Riders were 98-1 at the halfway point.

Both Simmons and Munro raised their half century off 32 and 30 balls, respectively, to push Knight Riders past the 150 mark at the end of the 14th over.

Simmons eventually went via the run-out route trying to steal a third run after mistiming a free hit into the hands of Glen, who was celebrating after taking the catch at deep midwicket, apparently oblivious of the fact that it was a free hit.

Munro and Captain Kieron Pollard with a 17-ball 45, including four boundaries and three sixes, then saw Knight Riders to the record total.

In reply, Phillips and Gayle gave the large crowd hope with an 88-run opening stand, before Gayle was bowled by Mohammad Hasnain for a 24-ball 39, including five fours and two sixes.

Hasnain combined with wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin to remove Chadwick Walton (six), and Phillips's innings came to an end shortly after, as he went caught in the deep by Munro off Pollard. He smashed seven fours and four sixes in his knock.

Rovman Powell came and dismissed his first delivery for a six, but suffered some discomfort to his side and retired hurt, which meant the Tallawahs lost three big hitters in space of eight deliveries.

Lewis, with two fours and four sixes, and Glenn, with two fours and three sixes, then had some fun with an entertaining 63-run stand in 28 deliveries at the backend of the innings.


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