A hat-trick from Rashid Khan and a rapid fifty from Luke Ronchi propelled the Guyana Amazon Warriors to victory in the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Eliminator against Jamaica Tallawahs. After Rashid’s hat-trick had derailed the Tallawahs innings - restricting them to 168 for 8 - Ronchi blitzed a fifty off just 20 balls to lead the Amazon Warriors chase which was sealed with 11 balls to spare.
Amazon Warriors opener Sohail Tanvir struggled to time the ball in his brief innings and eventually picked out Rovman Powell in the deep off Krishmar Santokie. However, Chadwick Walton and Ronchi struck regular boundaries in the Powerplay to lift the Amazon Warriors to 53 for 1.
The field dropping back did not stem the flow of runs. Walton and Ronchi took 37 off the seventh and eighth overs, striking boundaries off the front and back foot, as the Tallawahs bowlers strayed in line and length. Walton eventually fell in the ninth over, slapping a drive ball to backward point off Mahmudullah, but his innings of 40 off 23 in partnership with Ronchi had slashed the required run rate to 6.58 runs per over.
Despite Mahmudullah removing Walton, and then Jason Mohammad and Gajanand Singh shortly after, Ronchi continued unperturbed, punishing some wayward bowling from the rest of the Tallawahs to reach his fifty. Ronchi scored his runs on both sides of the ground but never tried to over-hit the ball, relying on timing more than raw power. Despite losing wickets the Amazon Warriors were on top of the required rate which was below six after 12 overs.
A tight fifteenth over from Mohammad Sami, which cost just two, kept the Tallawahs in the hunt but Assad Fudadin—who had started sluggishly—heaved a six on the leg side and nailed a straight four in the next over to reassert the Amazon Warriors’ control. Ronchi’s eventual demise, trapped lbw by Sami for 70 off 33 balls, came too late for the Tallawahs with Fudadin guiding the remainder of the innings.
Earlier in the evening the Tallawahs were put into bat by the Amazon Warriors and with a new opening partnership of Lendl Simmons and Kennar Lewis they got off to a bright start. The first wicket fell in the fifth over when Lewis took on a short ball from Rayad Emrit and picked out deep square leg. Regular boundaries from Simmons helped the Tallawahs to 55 for 1 after six overs; their third best six-over score of the season.
The Tallawahs good start was derailed in the seventh over when Simmons and Mahmudullah fell to the bowling of Steven Jacobs: slapping a wide ball to cover and picking out a leg side boundary-rider. After a partnership of 39 from 31 balls Griffith was gone too, edging behind off Roshon Primus to leave the Tallawahs 98 for 4.
The Tallawahs reshuffled batting order meant that at four down they still had Sangakkara, Andre McCarthy, Jonathan Foo and Powell to bat. In one single over that strong lower order was gutted by Rashid. Three consecutive googlies turned back through the gate of three loose drives to bring Rashid the first hat-trick in Hero CPL history, removing McCarthy, Foo and Powell and changing the complexion of the match in less than five minutes.
Santokie hit Rashid for a six but could only manage 12 off 12 before being bowled by Sohail. While Sangakkara was still there the Tallawahs had hope that they could elevate themselves to a competitive score. Sangakkara ended up scoring an unbeaten 57 off 38 balls in an innings laced with class, but he never managed to pull away from the Amazon Warriors. In the end his fifty and the Tallawahs total was not enough in the face of the aggression of Walton and Ronchi.