Explosive Brooks sends Jamaica into CPL final

Keemo Paul of the Guyana Amazon Warriors slashes a ball through the off-side during the Hero Caribbean Premier League second qualifier against the Jamaica Tallawahs at the Providence Stadium, Guyana on Wednesday.
Keemo Paul of the Guyana Amazon Warriors slashes a ball through the off-side during the Hero Caribbean Premier League second qualifier against the Jamaica Tallawahs at the Providence Stadium, Guyana on Wednesday.

A brutal batting onslaught in the last five overs from Shamarh Brooks and Imad Wasim propelled Jamaica Tallawahs into Friday's Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final against Barbados Royals.

Brooks and Wasim left a packed Providence Stadium stunned with a barrage of lusty blows that knocked the Guyana Amazon Warriors out of the competition, by 37 runs.

Aided by bad death bowling from Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith, Jamaica scored 103 runs in the last five overs to reach a mammoth 226 for four when overs ran out.

Brooks, 33, smashed his maiden T20 century – 109 not out off 52 balls (seven fours, eight sixes) – while Wasim blitzed 41 not out from just 15 balls (four fours, three sixes).

Brooks was fortunate to be at the crease for the late fireworks as wicketkeeper Rahmunullah Gurbaz dropped a regulation catch off Shepherd when he was in single digits.

Smith's erratic bowling continued as he finished one for 64 in four overs, which included three no-balls and three wides. Looking short of confidence after being taken for 17 in the 18th over, it was surprising to see captain Shimron Hetmyer give him the ball again for the final over, which leaked 26 runs – the highest of the match.

Jamaica Tallawahs batsman Shamarh Brooks raises his bat after reaching his half-century against the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the teams' Hero Caribbean Premier League second qualifier, at the Providence Stadium, Guyana on Wednesday.

Shepherd, who was brilliant in his first three overs, was brought back in the 19th, and his old demons returned.

Brooks and Wasim took him for 23 runs, including three sixes – two by Brooks.

Shepherd had not bowled since the 5th over, after sending down three superb overs for just 20 runs, on the trot, to start the game. He got rid of opener Kennar Lewis caught and bowled in the first over and later took the scalp of Brandon King, whose loose drive was caught up by Smith at mid off.

Guyana looked to have things under control with the run rate barely better than a run-a-ball at the end of the powerplay.

Jamaica lost their skipper Rovman Powell during another chaotic over from Smith.

A dropped catch that went for a boundary, two no-balls, and a six, had Guyana fans upset. But their frowns turned upside down when Smith got Powell (37 off 23) to nick one behind, which was spotted by DRS requested by Hetmyer.

New batsman Raymon Reifer showed intent in the 13th over, sweeping Gudakesh Motie for four and then pulling a short ball into the stands.

Brooks brought up his 50 (35 balls) with a single off Imran Tahir in the next over.

But Tahir broke the partnership trapping Reifer on the back foot. However, the dismissal opened the floodgate.

Wasim hit Tahir for six off his first ball and Brooks blasted another to finish the over with 15 runs.

The pair continued to accelerate at break-neck speed, and left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan was also on the end of some rough treatment.

Despite the odds firmly stacked against them, the Guyanese faithful remained confident, waving their flags vociferously and shouting, "Let's go Warriors."

Their chants were silenced by left-arm pacer Mohammed Khan who got rid of Paul Stirling (2), in the third over. A few balls later, Tallawahs had cause for concern as Amir looked to have pulled his groin and could not continue.

His absence seemed to have given the hosts a temporary lift as new batsman Shai Hope and Gurbaz put on 50 runs in 5 overs.

But after taking 18 runs off left-arm spinner Fabian Allen, the latter offered a low caught and ball chance to the bowler who pouched it gleefully.

Needing more than ten runs an over, Guyana threw the kitchen sink at it. Hope's brisk knock of 31 off 13 balls (three fours, two sixes) ended when he dragged a delivery by Chris Green onto his stumps. And Green bowled out Al Hasan next to make it 78 for four after eight.

The home-grown pair of Hetmyer and Keemo Paul excited the crowd with a 34-run partnership that was laced with boundaries by Paul.

But the dismissals of Hetmyer for 15 and Shepherd (2), in consecutive overs, put the nails in the coffin.

Paul tried his best with 56 off 37 balls before he was bowled out by Wasim in the 18th over with Guyana on 149/7 and needing over 25 an over to win. They eventually closed on 189 for eight.

Summarised Scores: JAMAICA TALLAWAHS 226/4 - Shamarh Brooks 109, Imad Wasim 41, Rovman Powell 37, Romario Shepherd 2/43 vs GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS 189/8 - KeemoPaul 56, Chris Green 2/40, Imad Wasim 2/25.


"Explosive Brooks sends Jamaica into CPL final"

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