Lendl Simmons made a promising showing ahead of his inaugural season with Jamaica Tallawahs, top-scoring with 42 off 23 balls before retiring out in an eventual 60-run win over USA in their final CPL warm-up on Thursday at the Central Broward Regional Park on Thursday.
Simmons, who joined Tallawahs this year from St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, put on a clinic of clean straight driving, finishing with five fours and two sixes before walking off in the sixth over at the fall of fellow opener Kennar Lewis' wicket to let his team-mates have a hit. Jonathan Foo and Andre McCarthy took over in the middle order to buoy the rest of the innings, taking Tallawahs to a final total of 152 for 9. Foo struck four fours and a six in his 38 while McCarthy had a four and two sixes in his 33 before also retiring at the end of the 15th over.
Left-arm spinner Nosthush Kenjige and medium-pace allrounder Japen Patel both recovered after taking some early punishment from Simmons to finish with solid figures of 2 for 29 and 3 for 19 respectively. Kenjige struck twice in the 17th, getting Foo to sky a slog to midwicket before pulling off a sensational diving return catch three balls later to remove Krishmar Santokie for 2.
Japen then followed with a wicket maiden in the 18th, getting Odean Smith edging behind for 1, before striking twice more in the 20th as Jamaica were tied down in the final five overs despite a fiery start in which they were 121 for 3 after 15 overs.
Despite the great work done at the death by USA's bowlers, their batsmen struggled to gain any momentum throughout the chase. One day after making 68 against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, opener Abdullah Syed was out for 6 edging behind in the third over to Santokie, who finished with 4 for 15.
The best USA managed from their order came from Roy Silva, who made a run-a-ball 14 before he fell in the 11th attempting to scoop left-arm spinner Garey Mathurin over short fine leg but failed to clear Santokie on the circle. Davion Davidson joint top-scored but struggled to make his 14 off 28 balls before he finally holed out to long-on off Santokie in the 17th.
Kesrick Williams turned in a solid performance in tandem with Santokie, taking 2 for 20 in 3.3 overs. Williams finished the match three balls into the 19th, having Elmore Hutchinson caught on the long-on boundary by Rovman Powell for his third catch as USA were bowled out for 92, their batting unit depleted primarily due to several players currently training with their respective CPL teams including captain Steven Taylor, who will be playing for Guyana Amazon Warriors this season.
Tallawahs will open their season against Barbados Tridents in the second match of the opening weekend doubleheader in Lauderhill.