Patrick Noone analyses another frustrating match for the Tallawahs as the Tridents gain a consolation win
After eight matches of misfiring power hitters, underused resources and no end of frustration, Jamaica Tallawahs finally got it right with the bat. Jermaine Blackwood, promoted to open for the first time in his T20 career, gave Glenn Phillips the opening partner he’d been crying out for all tournament.
Blackwood and Phillips batted to the end of the Powerplay, the first time the Tallawahs have made it to the end of the sixth over unscathed. Blackwood in particular was easy on the eye, scoring 40 of his 74 runs through the off-side. Throughout the tournament, Blackwood has scored 40 runs from the 30 cut shots he’s played, more than any other batsman. It’s clearly a strength of his and he was at his fluent best against Barbados Tridents today.
Blackwood’s innings provided the platform Andre Russell needed to play one of his trademark innings. The all-rounder came in during the 13th over and bludgeoned 54 from just 28 balls to give him his third half-century in four innings and push the Tallawahs up to their highest first innings score of the season.
Russell’s innings was not without its good fortune – two misfields granted him boundaries he shouldn’t have had and he was also ‘bowled’ by Rashid Khan only for the bail to fall back into its groove rather than fully dislodge. But Russell made the most of his luck, hitting every bowler besides Mitchell Santner for at least one six and only edging two balls in his entire innings, both of which went for four anyway. When he got it right though, he was merciless, scoring the bulk of his runs in the ‘V’ and even clearing the stadium with one hit off Hayden Walsh Jr.
It was then a massive disappointment for the Tallawahs that, after getting it right with the bat, they suddenly fell apart with the ball. Strangely opting to not open the bowling with Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman for only the second time this season – despite the Afghan having an economy rate of 4.35 in the Powerplay – the Tallawahs immediately conceded the initiative as both Oshane Thomas and debutant Preston McSween were expensive, albeit picking up a wicket each in their opening overs.
Jason Holder in particular got stuck into McSween, taking him for 24 in the left-armer’s second over, propelling the Tridents to 50-2 from just four overs. Before this match, the Tridents had scored at just 5.42 runs per over against spin – the lowest of all teams – compared to 7.79 against seam. With that in mind, the Tallawahs’ tactics made little sense in only bowling one over of spin in the Powerplay and allowing the Tridents to break the back of the chase before Mujeeb and Sandeep Lamichhane had a chance to make inroads.
By the time Lamichhane trapped Holder LBW for 69, the Tridents captain had broken the back of the chase thanks to his rapid start. Only two of the first eight balls he attacked failed to go for a boundary and his run rate consistently hovered around 10 runs per over throughout his 42-ball stay at the crease. At the time of his dismissal, the required rate was down to 7.36 runs per over and Mitchell Santner and Jonathan Carter were able to see their side home comfortably.
So, the Tridents’ tournament ends on a high, but this has been a season to forget for the Barbados franchise. For the Tallawahs, their place in the knockouts was confirmed before tonight but questions remain over their performances. They have yet to wholly convince across a full match and will need to be smarter against St Lucia Zouks tomorrow if they are to end their group stage campaign with a victory.
Patrick Noone is a CricViz analyst