Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Russell and Sangakkara dashed Barbados’ hopes of reaching the finals
Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara and West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell booked a finals showdown against the Guyana Amazon Warriors after the Jamaica Tallawahs absolutely decimated the Barbados Tridents by seven wickets in the second semi-final of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Jamaica captain Chris Gayle won the toss and chose to bowl first.
His decision paid off right away as opening batsman Dwayne Smith and pace bowler Jason Holder were both dismissed cheaply.
With Barbados struggling at 6/2, Raymon Reifer and Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik amassed an outstanding 102-run partnership to steady the innings before Reifer was dismissed for 36 off 43 balls, which included three boundaries.
Malik found himself back in the pavilion the very next ball as he was caught out off the bowling of Gayle for an agonising 49 runs, which came off 47 deliveries and included one boundary and three sixes.
Some late entertainment by Barbados skipper Kieron Pollard, Azhar Mahmood and Kyle Mayers helped the Tridents register 148 runs at the end of their 20 overs.
South Africa pace maestro Vernon Philander took two wickets, while Gayle and David Bernard snapped up one wicket apiece.
Chasing a respectable total of 149 to win, the Tallawahs found themselves in trouble early on as Gayle was dismissed by Mahmood for just three runs.
However, a 71-run partnership between Sangakkara and Chadwick Walton soon stabilised the ship until Walton was run out on 45 off 40 balls, which included five boundaries and a six.
Danza Hyatt followed soon after, scoring just 12 runs to leave Jamaica in a spot of bother at 117/3 midway through the 17th over.
However, a brillaint half-century by Sangakkara and some impressive big-hitting from Russell ensured the Tallawahs knocked out the Tridents once and for all and secured them a spot in the final.
Sangakkara’s 50 runs came off 38 balls and included four boundaries and two sixes, while Russell finished unbeaten on 29 off six deliveries, which included one boundary and four maximums.
Mahmood picked up two wickets in a great effort to restrict the Tallawahs, while the other bowlers simply got hammered all over the ground.