Jamaica Tallawahs 138 for 4 (Russell 58*, Hafeez 2-13) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 137 for 9 (Neesham 35, Taylor 3-14) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Andre Russell's fiery late charge cemented a dramatic six-wicket win for the Jamaica Tallawahs over the Guyana Amazon Warriors on Saturday afternoon in Kingston. With 10 needed to win off the final two balls, Russell lofted a full toss for four to extra cover and followed it with a six over cow corner off Jimmy Neesham to whip the Sabina Park crowd into a frenzy as he finished unbeaten on 58 off 24 balls.
Russell entered in the 14th over after the fall of Adam Voges with the score on 62 for 4 and the Tallawahs needing another 76 off 40 balls to chase down Amazon Warriors' 137 for 9 on a slow batting wicket. His magical knock was almost nipped in the bud on his very first delivery, as he played across the line to the offspin of Steven Jacobs, triggering a loud appeal for lbw which was denied by umpire Peter Nero. Russell responded by slamming the next ball he faced from left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul over midwicket for six, setting the tone for another five sixes that would follow.
The run rate continued to climb into the 17th over with 55 needed off 24 but Russell carted Ronsford Beaton for six, six and four off the first three balls to keep the Tallawahs in the hunt for an unlikely win. They still needed 24 off nine balls when Russell struck a four and six off Krishmar Santokie to set up the final-over theatrics.
Beaton, who had bowled a superb final over against Barbados Tridents last week to clinch a seven-run win, was passed over this time around by Amazon Warriors captain Denesh Ramdin and instead Neesham was tasked with defending 13 off the last six balls. Only one run was conceded off the first three balls, but a bouncer to Owais Shah on the fourth ball was out of the batsman's reach and crucially signaled a wide. Shah then took a single off the fourth legal delivery to set up Russell's heroic ending.
Russell appeared to be batting on a different pitch from all of his teammates as the next closest strike rate to his 241 was Chris Gayle's 95, achieved from 22 off 23 balls. The Amazon Warriors didn't fare much better earlier in the day, with only four players making it into double-figures after being sent in to bat first.
Neesham top-scored with 35 off 26 for the Amazon Warriors before getting out in the final over while Lendl Simmons anchored the top of the innings with a run-a-ball 34 until he was removed courtesy of a circus catch from Russell off the bowling of Nikita Miller. Russell took two other catches on the day, both for Jerome Taylor who finished with 3 for 14. Russell also finished with 1 for 10 in two overs on a day where he was never far from the action.