CPL 2022 – Jamaica Tallawahs Rovman Powell

CPL 2022 - Jamaica Tallawahs Rovman Powell

After rain and wet outfield delayed the start of the game and spiced up the St Kitts pitch, the spinners found sharp turn and bounce, even with the new ball. Amazon Warriors had a trio of spinners – Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir and Gudakesh Motie – in their ranks but Powell trusted his defence and calmly played them out. He managed all of 8 off 24 balls against spin but tore into the extra pace of Odean Smith and Romario Shepherd, smashing them for 36 off 14 balls to help Tallawahs chase down 143 with four wickets and four balls to spare.

“To be honest, it’s one of my better knocks in the CPL,” Powell said. “I always have ambitions to finish games for my team and to do it in that match gave me a pleasing feeling. I stuck through the tough times – [it’s] something I wanted to do – and then you earn the right to dominate at the end. I think I did that well in that game. “

Powell credited Robert Samuels, the elder brother of Marlon, for instilling in him the belief that he could expand his game against spin, which had been his weakness in the past. Lately, Powell has been more confident to sweep and use his feet against spin, which has opened up other options for him.

“When the spin gets on top of us, as big-hitters or as batters, we don’t trust our defence or technique. If we can do that long enough and as I said, he [Robert Samuels] gave me more options in dealing with spin and those options seem to be working so far.”

Rovman Powell

“The good thing is Robert Samuels has known me from [since] I was a child,” Powell said. “He has been my coach for a very long time now. I realised at the international level that I had a little bit of problem with spin and all these days he sat down with me and gave me better options in playing spin. Just tells me to continue to trust myself and trust my defence because a lot of times that is our downfall.

“When the spin gets on top of us, as big-hitters or as batters, we don’t trust our defence or technique. If we can do that long enough… and as I said, he 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 provide [even] more options and help me during the course of my career.”

These are still early days in the CPL, but there are already signs that this could be a highly competitive season. All sides are on the board now and on Thursday defending champions St Kitts & Nevis Patriots stormed back into contention by becoming the first team to successfully chase down more than 20 runs in the last over of the CPL.

“Yeah, definitely [this is a very competitive season]. When you look at all the teams – the composition of all the teams – they’re evenly matched,” Powell said. “It boils down to team performances on the day and that is what cricket is all about. [In the] years gone by in the CPL, we’ve had teams that are so much better than others, so people know the result of the game sometimes before you even play the game. This year provides something different not just for the players but also for the fans. So, it’s pretty good.”

Powell also delivered a glowing appraisal of seamer Nicholson Gordon who has brought some zip and energy to Tallawahs’ attack with his hard lengths and celebrations. Gordon, 30, made his CPL debut this season and has emerged as an unlikely hero for Tallawahs after impressing the 6ixty, where he was the joint-highest wicket-taker, with six strikes in three innings.

“It [Gordon’s progress] is very good,” Powell said. “That is why we sat down as a franchise and decided to get him in. He’s our wicket-taker; sometimes he will go for a little bit of runs, but he’s always one that is going to give you wickets. In T20 cricket, wickets are important. Over the years he has been consistent playing for Jamaica and when he gets his chance for A team cricket, he will do well also. It’s just due reward for the hard work that he has put in and coming to the Tallawahs now all that hard work is bearing fruit for him.”

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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