Match Scorecard: Guyana Amazon Warriors 142 for 7 (Shepherd 72*, Imad 3-15) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 128 (Smith 3-20, Shepherd 3-31) by 14 run
Odean Smith returned to the dugout with TV cameras showing his eyes welling up after falling for a first-ball duck to an Imad Wasim arm ball as Guyana Amazon Warriors slumped to 75 for 7 after electing to bat first as a CPL 2021 playoff place seemed to be slipping away.
But, just over two hours later, those impending tears of sadness turned to joy for Warriors, thanks to one of the greatest all-round performances in CPL history from Romario Shepherd, who smashed an unbeaten 72 off 31 balls before going 3 for 31 in the field to help his side clinch a 14-run win over Jamaica Tallawahs, securing both teams' playoff fates in the process.
Tallawahs' loss also secured the last playoff place for St Lucia Kings, who needed the Warriors' aid after a stunning loss to Barbados Royals earlier in the day left the Tallwahs' playoff door ajar until Shepherd slammed it shut.
Following an 80-minute delay that shortened the match to 18 overs, the Tallawahs' choice to leave out Veerasammy Permaul for Fidel Edwards at the toss appeared even more stupid as Imad Wasim and Chris Green combined to take 5 for 34 in eight overs in the live T20 match. Edwards was dismissed for 0 for 27 in two overs and was replaced by Shepherd, who concluded the 14th over with two sixes after being bowled early in the over by a bouncer to the helmet
Tallawahs' inability to remove Motie and navigate through the remainder of the tail ultimately cost them dearly. In the second over of the chase, Imran Tahir delivered a double-wicket maiden, dismissing Kennar Lewis with a googly before Kirk McKenzie missed a sweep to another wrong un and was adjudged leg before. Shepherd then struck again in the eighth over, getting Rovman Powell to loft a catch to deep square leg and Imad Wasim to surrender his wicket to Nicholas Pooran at backward point, reducing the score to 42 for 6.