Last pair helps Jamaica squeak into final
Jamaica's last pair came together with their team needing 13 runs off as many balls, and held their nerve to take their side into the final with one ball remaining. It was heartbreak for the Sagicor High Performance Centre at Providence Stadium in Guyana, as Krishmar Santokie (8*) and Odean Brown (5*) put the seal on a match they had set up with the ball earlier, when they picked up a combined 5 for 81 in 22 overs to derail the HPC innings.
Santokie did the early damage, striking three times in his first spell to reduce HPC to 23 for 3 in the seventh over. Devon Thomas stemmed the rot with a defiant 33 off 69 balls, before Brown and Nikita Miller made middle-order incisions to reduce HPC to a sorry 84 for 7. Veerasammy Permaul and Keron Cottoy hung in gamely to add 57 for the eighth wicket and lead their side to a fighting 176 for 9 in 50 overs.
Jamaica lost their talismanic captain Chris Gayle early, and were thereafter consigned to a very slow start. When Tamar Lambert was out at 103 for 4 in the 37th over, the innings was devoid of momentum and was fast losing resources too. Jason Holder struck three quick blows to make it 130 for 7 in the 43rd over, and Jamaica seemed to be on their way out of the tournament. Andre Russell counterpunched in typical fashion with 24 off 14 balls to take the score to 164 by the time he was eighth man out in the 47th over.
When Miller was dismissed nine balls later, without addition to the score, HPC seemed set to make the final, but Santokie and Brown were about to ruin their day. With three needed off two balls, Brown smashed Nkrumah Bonner for a straight boundary to push Jamaica into the final at the same ground on October 29, where they will meet Trinidad & Tobago.