After rain and a wet pitch delayed the start of the game and brighten up the St Kitts pitch, the spinners found a sharp turn and bounced, even with the new ball. Amazon Warriors had a trio of spinners – Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir and Gudakesh Motion – in their ranks, but Powell relied on his defense and played them calmly. He managed to beat all 8 of 24 balls against spin, but ripped off Odean Smith and Romario Shepherd at the extra pace, crushing them for 36 from 14 balls to help Tallawahs chase 143 with four wickets and four balls left.
“To be honest, it’s one of my better strokes in the CPL,” Powell said. “I always have the ambition to finish games for my team and to do it in that game gave me a good feeling. I kept going through the hard times – [it’s] something I wanted to do – and then at the end you earn the right to dominate. I think I did well in that game. “
“When the spin comes over us, as big hitters or as hitters, we don’t trust our defense or technique. If we can do that long enough and like I said, he [Robert Samuels] gave me more options in dealing with spin and those options seem to be working so far.”
“The good thing is that Robert Samuels knows me from [since] I was a kid,” Powell said. “He’s been my coach for a long time. I realized on an international level that I had a bit of a problem with spin and all those days he sat with me and gave me better options to play spin. Just tells me to keep trusting myself and trusting my defense, because often that’s our downfall.
“When the spin comes over us, as big hitters or as hitters, we don’t trust our defense or technique. If we can do that long enough…and like I said, it gave me more options in dealing with spin and those options seem to be working so far, so hopefully more conversations with Robert and working with him will help [even] more options and help me in the course of my career.”
These are still early days in the CPL, but there are already signs that this could be a very competitive season. All sides are now on the board and on Thursday defending champions St Kitts & Nevis Patriots stormed back into the fray by becoming the first team to successfully chase more than 20 runs in the CPL’s final over.
“Yes, of course [this is a very competitive season]. If you look at all the teams – the composition of all the teams – they are evenly matched,” said Powell. “It comes down to team performance on the day and that’s what cricket is all about. [In the] In recent years we’ve had teams in the CPL that are so much better than others, so sometimes people know the outcome of the game even before you’ve played the game. This year offers something different, not only for the players, but also for the fans. So it’s pretty good.”
“It [Gordon’s progress] is very good,” Powell said. “That’s why we sat down as a franchise and decided to bring him in. He’s our wicket taker; sometimes he will run a bit but he is always someone who will give you wickets. Wickets are important in T20 cricket. Over the years he has played consistently for Jamaica and when he gets his chance at A-team cricket he will do well too. It’s just an appropriate reward for the hard work he’s put in and now that he’s come to the Tallawahs, all that hard work is paying off.”
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo