The Jamaica Tallawahs are not invincible. The Guyana Amazon Warriors took their pound of flesh last night, inflicting Andre Russell's team's first defeat of the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League at Central Broward Regional Park and Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Guyana Amazon Warriors, spurred on by a raucous pro-Guyanese crowd, had the Tallawahs shook from early and never let their opponents get on top. The Amazon Warriors posted a massive 209/7 from their 20 overs with 21-year-old Shimron Hetmyer becoming the youngest ever CPL centurion. The left-hander blasted an even 100 from 49 balls alongside his captain Shoaib Malik who carved 50 from 33 balls.
The Tallawahs, after a 66-run second wicket stand between Ross Taylor and Glenn Phillips ended, faltered badly in their chase and stumbled to 138 all out to lose by 71 runs.
Russell was not a happy man after the match and hinted he is concerned heading into today's highly anticipated contest vs the Trinbago Knight Riders and Wednesday's fixture vs Barbados Tridents here. Both matches are listed as "home" games for the Jamaica Tallawahs. With tassa drums hyping the partisan crowd and chutney music blaring from the DJ speakers, it did not feel like a "home" game for Russell.
The 30-year-old, in his first ever season as a senior captain, unleashed his emotions to the media after the resounding defeat.
"Honestly, I'm very unhappy at the moment. The guys fought tonight and I just think when you have a good thing going and to actually lose a game, sometimes you just have to pick yourself up and go from strength to strength. But based on tonight's game, it did not feel like a home game; every boundary, every wicket was going Guyana's way. Hetmyer came out and played a lot of good shots and just the crowd being on his back gave him that pump. It shouldn't be like that. We should have that home advantage that when a man hits a boundary he hears silence. It shouldn't be that you (Jamaica) hit a four or a six and you're not hearing nothing because Guyana crowd is here and they want Guyana to do well."
Russell said it was like Providence Stadium in Fort Lauderdale as Guyanese fans were heckling him nonstop while he was fielding on the boundary.
He also admitted his body language was not the best as he realised the tough environment his team was in made his job harder.
"I was upset, I was throwing shoes all around in the changing room... They (teammates) definitively picked up the negative vibe. A lot of Guyanese live here and a lot of Trinis live here and I hope we can win the next two games."
Looking towards a rematch with the Trinbago Knight Riders today, Russell said he expects another crowd favouring their rivals.
"We beat them in their home turf. This is not our home turf but i hope we can brush this loss off. I know it's gonna be loud and a lot of Trinbago colours tomorrow but i hope to see some yellow and identify our family and friends."
Scores: GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS 209 for seven (Shimron Hetmyer 100, Shoaib Malik 50; Andre Russell 2-31, Oshane Thomas 2-32, Kishmar Santokie 2-35) vs JAMAICA TALLAWAHS 138 off 16.2 overs (Glenn Phillips 43, Ross Taylor 30; Chris Green 2-19, Imran Tahir 2-26).