Russell bemoans fearful batting

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Timid batting might have caused the Jamaica Tallawahs to lose their Hero Caribbean Premier League clash against the Barbados Tridents last night, dynamic all-rounder Andre Russell has suggested.

Russell, the Tallawahs captain, chided his team for not playing “fearless cricket” following their two-run loss in an encounter they looked to be winning for most of the game.

Ross Taylor of Jamaica Tallawahs bats during the Hero Caribbean Premier League match against Barbados Tridents last night.

The Tallawahs crashed to a third straight defeat at the seemingly unlucky Lauderhill venue but this time around the Jamaica-based franchise had to work very hard to do so.  After restricting the Tridents to 156, a flying opening stand took the team to 80 in nine overs and seemingly set them on course to overhaul a total that always seemed below par.

With 10 wickets in hand and having 11 overs left to get 77, the Tallawahs, however, somehow ended up on the losing end. Australia batsman Steve Smith proved handy with the ball as his part-time leg-spin removed both openers Johnson Charles and Glenn Phillips in the space of five balls. With a powerful batting line-up that included the likes of Russell and Rovman Powell, it hardly seemed likely to be an issue for the Jamaica-based franchise.

The loss of the opening wickets, however, marked the beginning of a mighty struggle at the crease. In at three, Kennar Lewis, who had been opening before Charles returned, scored 17 off 16. Ross Taylor and David Miller, however, put on an even more pedestrian showing at the crease with unbeaten innings of 26 from 28 and 25 from 20 respectively. Russell and Powell never reached the middle.

“Earlier this evening [yesterday] I had a meeting with the guys and I asked them to play fearless cricket.  Tonight [last night] wasn’t fearless, it’s like guys were afraid to get out,” Russell said in the post-match interview.

“I’m not afraid to get out, it wouldn’t be the first I got out in cricket and it won’t be the last,” he added.

“I back myself to hit whether the ball is there or the ball is not there and that’s the kind of spirit we needed, to be fearless.  I didn’t see that tonight [last night] and that’s why we were on the losing end.”

On the winning side of the coin Tridents captain Jason Holder was elated at the outcome. He hailed the effectiveness of the team’s bowling unit after recovering from a difficult situation.

“We obviously didn’t make it easy for ourselves but credit must go to our bowling unit, I thought they stuck with it.  I never once saw them drop their heads and I thought it was important we stayed in the game,” Holder said, following the match.

“I must give credit to Raymond Reifer, Wahab Riaz and Mohammed Irfan, they bowled quality spells up front and Ashley [Nurse] and Steve [Smith] played a big part as well.”

The Tallawahs went from 10 wickets in hand, with 11 overs left to get 77 to needing 20 from 12 with Taylor and Miller struggling at the crease.  Smith was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2 for 19, while Reifer recovered from a bad start to finish with 0 for 38 and an excellent 20th over to clinch the game. Tridents achieved their victory despite dropping five catches in the innings. (SportsMax)

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