“Definitely the best T20 innings that I have ever seen.”
That is how Jamaica Tallawahs middle-order batsman Ross Taylor described Andre Russell’s match-winning performance against the Trinbago Knight Riders last Friday night that propelled the Jamaica Tallawahs to victory in their opening match of the 2018 Hero CPL season.
Russell scored 121 not out from just 49 balls. His 100 came up off just 40 balls, a CPL record and contained 13 sixes, another CPL record. His 161-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Kennar Lewis, who made 51 from 35 balls, was a T20 world record and was a CPL record for the highest partnership for any wicket.
The 34-year-old former New Zealand captain, who has seen his fair share of historic performances, believes Russell’s was the best.
“I’ve been on the back of a few and had a few with players that I have played with but put the context of the game; first game as captain after just bowling, it’s a phenomenal innings and not only that, the bowlers that were bowling to him, it wasn’t as if Mickey Mouse XI; Narine, Bravo, Fawad, Gabriel, it’s an experienced bowling line up,” he said.
“And not the smallest boundaries either, but the way he was hitting it was clearing any boundary in the world, that’s for sure.”
He said the closest he has ever witnessed to Russell’s destruction of the Knight Riders, was Chris Gayle’s 175 in April 2013 in the Indian Premier League for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The 175 was made from just 66 balls and contained 13 fours and 17 sixes RCB scored 263 for against the Pune Warriors.
“I never played the game but I was there in the ground when Chris Gayle got 175 against Pune, that’s the only thing that has come close, I think, but then chasing a target makes (Russell’s) extra special, and he had a hat trick, not a bad day,” Taylor said. (SportsMax)