File Photo: Andre Russell on the go for the Jamaica Tallawahs during the HERO CPL at Sabina Park earlier this season.
A stroke filled century from T-20’s most exciting player, Andre Russell, led the Jamaica Tallawahs to the final of the HERO Caribbean Premier League T-20 Final last night when they defeated the Trinbago Knight Riders by 19 runs (by the Duckworth Lewis method).
Russell blasted an amazing 11 sixes and three boundaries from 42 deliveries to register his first ever T-20 hundred and steer the Tallawahs to a formidable 195/6 from their 20 overs, rescuing the former champions from a pretty ordinary start.
Both openers, Chris Gayle (35) and Chadwick Walton (15) got fairly good starts but failed to push on and the usually dependable pair of Kumar Sangakkara (5) and Rovman Powell (2) failed to impress on the most important of nights.
But the man who seemed to have been born to play this form of the game held his hand up most admirably when his team needed him the most.
Joining the fray at 67 for four in over number ten, Russell got his one T-20 wish, enough overs to really get stuck in. The powerfully built right hander, wasted no time in getting at the bowlers as he bludgeoned the ball beyond the boundary ropes time and time again.
Russell’s partner at the other end Shaklib Al Hasan was a mere spectator during the partnership of 101, his contribution of just 19 runs, a testament to the fact. Russell fittingly brought up his century with a straight six and his celebrations on reaching the milestone indicated just how much it meant to the player.
The Knight Riders got three overs at the wicket in their reply before rain stopped the contest. They managed to lose one wicket while scoring 13 runs, before heading back to the pavilion as the heavens opened up.
One the resumption, the TKR were asked to get 130 runs from 12 overs, an asking rate over almost 11 runs per over. The managed to limp along to 110/7 as the total proved to be 20 runs too many to get.
The Tallawahs will play the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final on Sunday starting at 6pm.