CPL week six: Sixth time's the charm for Amazon Warriors as Ayub, Tahir, Pretorius take the honours

Allen's happy jig and Azam's superb knock also made the headlines in the final week of CPL 2023

Rvel Zahid
Saim Ayub is lifted by jubilant team-mates after he hit the winning runs  •  Getty Images

Saim Ayub is lifted by jubilant team-mates after he hit the winning runs  •  Getty Images

The final week of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) began with Jamaica Tallawahs continuing their stellar run and culminated with Guyana Amazon Warriors finally getting their hands on the trophy for the first time in six attempts. Here's a look at the highlights from the week gone by.

Resurgent Tallawahs continue their upward curve

After staging a remarkable recovery from a five-game losing streak, Jamaica Tallawahs continued their form and knocked St Lucia Kings out of the competition in a low-scoring Eliminator. Tallawahs suffered a blow when Mohammad Amir pulled out after bowling the third delivery of his first over because of a hamstring niggle. But on a seething Providence track, Fabian Allen stole the show, prising out four batters whereas Chris Green was frugal, finishing with 2 for 19 in four overs.
Captain Brandon King (30 off 19) was quick off the blocks in the small chase. There was a slight hiccup when Tallawahs lost 4 for 30 between the fifth and the eighth over, but Raymon Reifer and Imad Wasim steadied the ship. The duo added a 42-run stand for the fifth wicket to all but seal Tallawahs' Qualifier 2 berth.

Allen's happy feet celebration draws the attention

Fabian Allen's happy jig stole most of the limelight in the final week of the CPL on social media. Not one to shy away, the allrounder brought out a unique wicket-taking celebration during the Eliminator, one which was reminiscent of Happy Feet's penguin dance. It sure made his team-mates burst into laughter, while the crowd danced along with his moves.

Amazon Warriors falter in Qualifier 1

Chadwick Walton waltzed his way to a match-winning unbeaten 57-ball 80 as Trinbago Knight Riders sealed another final berth by getting the better of Amazon Warriors in the first Qualifier. Walton launched his virtuoso explosions to help Knight Riders chase down the 167-target with 11 balls to spare.
Sent into bat, Amazon Warriors could only manage what turned out to be a middling first innings score in Providence. Saim Ayub scored a 39-ball 49 but there were hardly any contributions from the middle order. The power-packed Knight Riders batting line-up found their rhythm in the big game to coast home.

Azam Khan turns on beast mode in Qualifier 2

Azam Khan was in his element as Amazon Warriors stormed back into form in Qualifier 2 against Jamaica Tallawahs.
His 27-ball 54 took Amazon Warriors to 182 for 6, giving them the much-needed impetus in the final overs after Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer had laid the platform. Azam got the better of Amir in the death who was clobbered for two sixes and a four in the penultimate over of the innings. The 183-target proved a bridge too far for defending champions Tallawahs who were bowled out for just 101 in 15.2 overs.
Dwaine Pretorius took 2 for 21 while Imran Tahir claimed 3 for 7 in 2.2 overs to spearhead an Amazon Warriors victory. Pretorius won the Player-of-the-Match award which he handed over to Azam.

Sixth-time lucky for Amazon Warriors

Amazon Warriors were a finely tuned orchestra in the CPL final, with Tahir establishing his credentials as an inspiring leader and spearheading his side to a maiden title win. At 44, he became the oldest-ever captain to win a men's T20 final.
It was Pretorius, who wreaked havoc on the Knight Riders batters picking 4 for 26 in four overs before Tahir and Gudakesh Motie joined forces as Knight Riders were skittled for 94. The precocious Ayub continued his excellent run smashing an unbeaten 41-ball 52. He hit the winning runs as the local fans in Providence erupted with joy.
Amazon Warriors' brilliant run can be proved by the fact that they dominated the most runs and most wickets tally by some distance. Ayub finished the competition as the second highest run-scorer with 478 runs in 13 innings at 43.45 and a strike rate of 142.26. Only his team-mate Hope was ahead of him with 481 runs at 53.44 and a strike rate of 140.23. Pretorius was the leading wicket-taker with 20 scalps in 12 innings at 15.45, while Tahir was second on the list with 18 wickets.
A visibly teary-eyed emotional Tahir said, "This is one of my greatest achievements. I think this year we were more hungry than ever before, if you want something really badly, it will happen to you".