Andre Russell is one of the most exciting players in the shortest format of cricket. The all-rounder once again showed the world what he is made of by scoring a century, and following it up by taking a hat-trick in the same match on his debut as captain. English cricketer Joe Denly is the only other cricketer to achieve this feat in T20 cricket. While Russell did it in Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2018 for Jamaica Tallawahs, Denly did it for Kent against Sussex on July 6, 2018 (102 runs and 3 wicket for 31 runs).
Brendon McCullum and Darren Bravo were hammering Jamaica bowlers. Russell was given the last over of the first innings against a rampant Trinbago Knight Riders’ batting unit. Russell was initially sent for runs all around the park, and McCullum managed to score 30 runs in the penultimate over.
With a four off the first ball, McCullum took his side to the highest score of CPL history. On the next ball, McCullum tried to hit a full length delivery for a six, but found the long-on fielder. He scored 56 runs off 27 deliveries.
Next ball, Russell bowled a perfect yorker to uproot Bravo’s leg stump. Wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin tried to go for the biggie despite it being the hat-trick ball. All he could find was the deep mid-wicket fielder with his mistimed slog. This was Russell’s T20 career’s second hat-trick.
When the 30-year-old came to bat, they were chasing a target of 224, and were reduced to 5 wickets for 41, thanks to Ali Khan’s three-wicket haul. He got lucky on the first ball as Ali dropped a catch of Fawad Ahmed’s bowling. After the hiccup, he tried to form a partnership with Kennar Lewis.
While Lewis kept wickets from falling from one end, Russell was going after the bowlers. He completed his half-century off just 22 balls. Russell-Lewis launched a brutal onslaught trying to decrease the difference between runs required and balls left. Meanwhile Russell scored the fastest century of CPL history in just 40 balls.
With 13 sixes in his innings, he also became the batsman with most number of sixes (13) in an innings. Jamaica chased down the total despite Lewis’ wicket in the 18th over. They shared a 161-run match winning partnership for the sixth wicket which is also a record in T20 cricket.
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Russell ended the match with a maximum, recording the highest run-chase of CPL history. He scored 121 runs from 49 deliveries including 6 fours and 13 sixes at a staggering strike rate of 246.94. This was also the second century of his CPL career.