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CPL week two: Tallawahs' Pakistani flavour; Amazon Warriors' West Indian flavour

At the end of the second week, Patriots were the only team without a win and they've also lost Linde to concussion

Rvel Zahid
Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul led Guyana Amazon Warriors' fightback, Jamaica Tallawahs vs Guyana Amazon Warriors, Caribbean Premier League, Basseterre, August 27, 2023

Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul led Guyana Amazon Warriors' counter against Jamaica Tallawahs  •  CPL T20 via Getty Images

The caravan moved to Basseterre for the second leg as the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) put behind incessant rains to greet the week with sunshine. After four washouts on the trot, there was plenty of action at the idyllic Warner Park.

Irshad-Amir duo hogs the limelight

Salman Irshad gave Jamaica Tallawahs an early advantage by picking up three wickets in an over and nearly got a hat-trick against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots. He also registered his career-best figures of 4 for 27 in T20s. First, he got Andre Fletcher poking at a snorter outside off to the keeper and then dismissed Corbin Bosch, who spooned the ball to backward point. Irshad then dismissed Ambati Rayudu for a duck in his first CPL innings. His final wicket came off a teasing delivery that lured Joshua Da Silva into playing a false shot.
Mohammad Amir was among the wickets too, giving Tallawahs a rich Pakistan flavour along with Imad Wasim who smashed 63 off 36 balls against in Tallawahs' next game against Guyana Amazon Warriors.

Warriors open account

After their first match was washed out, Amazon Warriors started the week with a bang against Patriots, with Saim Ayub scoring a breezy 31. His no-look shot lit up the PSL, but he got out to that shot in the CPL as he exposed his leg stump a bit too much and saw his stumps getting flattened. Shai Hope then laid the foundation for an above-par score with a fluent fifty. Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd all pitched in with cameos to lift Amazon Warriors to 197 for 7.
In the second innings, it was Amazon Warriors' spin duo of Gudakesh Motie and Imran Tahir who inflicted the most damage. Tahir picked up two wickets, including that of Sherfane Rutherford, to help Amazon Warriors dismiss Patriots for 132. The 44-year-old South African is still so good. He must have some sort of deal in place with his telomeres to slow down the ageing process.
In the same game, George Linde suffered a collision after colliding with Andre Fletcher, with Kofi James coming in as a concussion sub. James could only manage seven off four balls in the chase. Patriots also have to deal with another change, with Rutherford taking over as captain from Evin Lewis.

Former Knight Rider Pierre spins out Knight Riders

Faf du Plessis slammed an authoritative half-century for St Lucia Kings against Trinbago Knight Riders. Once he fell, Sikandar Raza, who will succeed du Plessis as captain, didn't let the scoring rate decelerate much and raced to 32 to help Kings post 167 on a two-paced track that had plenty of assistance for the spinners. In reply, Knight Riders lost Martin Guptill, Chadwick Walton and Nicholas Pooran in the powerplay. Kieron Pollard briefly rescused the chase, but Knight Riders folded for 113 inside 15 overs, with former Knight Rider Khary Pierre taking four wickets. Overall, Kings' spinners combined to take nine wickets which is the most by a team's spinners in a CPL match.

Patriots yet to get off the mark

Patriots' Fletcher clobbered some mighty hits in the powerplay against Barbados Royals but he was not comfortable against Qais Ahmad. The Afghanistan legspinner turned the ball sharply and ended with excellent figures of 4-0-16-2. Nyeem Young bowled well until he was shouldered with the responsibility of the last over, in which he conceded 34 runs before he was taken out of the attack for bowling two no-balls. Bosch and Drakes stitched together an unbroken 54 off 18 balls for the seventh wicket to take Patriots to 197.
The chase started with Rahkeem Cornwall hitting a 15-ball 38 which set the template for the team. Royals lost some wickets in the middle but Rovman Powell's unbeaten 67 and his 74-run partnership off just 35 balls with Alick Athanaze put them back on the path to victory.
Patriots also lost their next match to Knight Riders on Sunday, registering their fourth successive defeat in six games. They are only team without a win this season.

Hetmyer, Paul, Shepherd sparkle

On Sunday, Amazon Warriors roared back into the contest against Tallawahs, after being three down in four overs, thanks to Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer. Paul went berserk, notching up his fifty in 23 balls and putting on a 99-run partnership while Hetmyer top-scored with 60 off 45. The duo took the total to 210 - the second most runs scored after the fall of the third wicket in a CPL innings.
Tallawahs also had a shaky start, losing their top four for 13 runs. Wasim breathed some life into the chase with 63 off 36 while Fabian Allen hit 47 off 25. However, despite the late blows, irreparable damage had already been done.
Romario Shepherd was the pick of the bowlers, snaring three vital wickets for seven runs in his three overs. Junior Sinclair chipped in with two wickets in his three overs. It was the first time 300-plus runs were scored by the players batting at No.5 and lower, the highest for any T20 game. The match also witnessed more than 350 runs being scored after the fall of the third wicket - the highest for a T20 match.