Barbados overcome Russell's six to enter final
Barbados 249 for 9 (Carter 59, Smith 55, Russell 6-45) beat Jamaica 191 (Nash 52, Hinds 4-19, Searles 3-51) by 58 runs
Barbados were forced to dig deep after an incisive spell from Andre Russell, but their lower order and bowlers raised their game to trump Jamaica by 58 runs at Sabina Park, and set up a final showdown against Leeward Islands on Sunday.
Russell, who was included in the recently named West Indies squad for Sri Lanka, was in his element from the moment Jamaica chose to field. He trapped Dale Richards in front with his first ball before getting Ryan Hinds to edge behind in his second over. Jason Haynes and Kirk Edwards attempted to see off Russell's hostility, but the seamer struck again in his fifth over, Haynes departing for 14 off 29 balls.
Barbados recovered once Russell was taken off the attack, with Jonathan Carter joining Kirk Edwards in an counterattack. Carter dominated the stand of 82 for the fourth wicket before Odean Brown dismissed Edwards for 34 in the 25th over of the innings. Carter slammed three sixes and as many fours in his 59 which came at better than run-a-ball, but when Chris Gayle sent him back in the 26th over, Barbados were in trouble again, at 128 for 5.
Dwayne Smith, however, seamlessly took over the aggressor's baton from Carter, while the lower order played around him. Smith struck 55 off 50 balls, and though Russell returned to pick three wickets and finish with 6 for 45, Barbados' tail refused to fall away. Kemar Roach and Tino Best, the Nos. 10 and 11, added 34 runs to lead their side to a respectable 249 for 9. Jamaica's cause was not helped by the indiscipline of their attack, which conceded 23 runs in wides and no-balls.
Jamaica's chase suffered from the inability of their top order to convert starts into meaningful innings. Openers Chris Gayle and Xavier Marshall hit four fours and two sixes between them, but could only contribute 36 runs. Danza Hyatt also failed to make an impact, and from 65 for 3 in the 12th over, it was left to Brendan Nash to steer the relatively lean Barbados middle order. The pressure on him increased after Tamar Lambert and Carlton Baugh were found out in the middle overs, with spinners Ryan Hinds and Sulieman Benn settling into miserly spells.
Lambert and Baugh used up 37 deliveries for the addition of seven runs, and Nash's own struggles to keep the scoreboard ticking meant Jamaica steadily lost steam. Hinds struck intermittent blows along with Javon Searles, and at 148 for 6 in the 36th over Barbados had assumed full control. Even their reciprocal generosity with wides and no-balls - they conceded 25 in all - could not redeem the host's chase. Nash's crawl to a half-century merely delayed the end as Jamaica folded nine short of the 200-run mark, in the 44th over.