Allrounder Andre Russell's 29* in just 6 balls powered Jamaica Tallawahs to the final of the inaugural Caribbean Premier League, as the Chris-Gayle Jamaicans
beat Barbados Tridents by 7 wickets in the second semi-final on Friday. They will meet Guyana Amazon warriors, who won the first semi-final beating Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, in the final on Saturday.
Though Jamaica - chasing 149 to win - had it under control needing 32 in 20 balls, Russell's four blistering sixes, a four and a single ended the match with 9 balls to spare.
The chase was made easy by the 71-run, second-wicket stand between opener Chadwick Walton (45 in 40) and Kumar Sangakkara (50* in 38) after Azhar Mahmood dismissed Gayle for just 3 in the fourth over. Walton was run out with the score reading 87 for 2, but Sangakkara's 38-ball stay through the end allowed Russell to swing his bat.
Mahmood also accounted for Danza Hyatt (12) to end up with figures of 37 for 2 in 3.3 overs, but none of the other Barbados bowlers could get among the wickets.
Gayle put Barbados in to bat and the decision paid dividends immediately, with the scorecard reading 6 for 2 in the third over. David Bernard dismissed Dwayne Smith (1) in the second over and Vernon Philander sent Jason Holder (5) back in the third.
That followed a 102-run partnership between Raymon Reifer and Shoaib Malik, but they took their time in taking the score to 108 in the 17th over, when both the set batsmen fell. Reifer was run out for 36 in 43 balls and Malik fell to Gayle's part-time spin for 49 in 47 balls.
It was then left to Keiron Pollard and Azhar Mahmood to provide the flourish but none succeeded, getting out for 13 and 14 respectively. Philander returned with the most impressive figures for Jamaica, taking 2 for 28 in his 4 overs.