The 2021 season of Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is up and running and Andre Russell has taken no time to join the party. The explosive cricketer has had a few injury issues in last couple of years and he would have been desperate to begin the tournament on a high, considering the fact that second phase of IPL 2021 and 2021 T20 World Cup are up next. For a change, Russell was in a position when he had to prove himself once again to the world and he certainly did that with some attitude and passion.
After being asked to bat first against Saint Lucia Kings, Jamaica Tallawahs got off to a brilliant start with Chadwick Walton (47 off 29), Kennar Lewis (48 off 21), Haider Ali (45 off 32) and Rovman Powell (38 off 26) chipping in with some valuable contributions. The score read 199/3 in 17.1 overs and this is when Andre Russell walked out to bat. What followed next was absolute destruction at the Warner Park.
Russel smashes 4 sixes off Wahab Riaz's over
After taking a single off the first ball that he faced, Russell was back on strike for the penultimate over of the innings which was being bowled by Wahab Riaz. The right-handed batsman made his intentions very clear as he struck a huge six over deep mid-wicket with an exciting-looking pull-shot. Riaz was under extreme pressure as he bowled a no-ball on the subsequent delivery, without any damage though. Russell could not take advantage of the free-hit as he could only manage a single going off strike.
Unfortunately for Riaz, Migael Pretorius got Russel back on strike for the last three deliveries. And it was time for carnage! Russel smashed two powerful sixes and absolutely put Riaz off the track. As a result, the left-arm pacer overstepped on the next delivery which was also smashed by Russell for a boundary. Having missed out on the previous free-hit opportunity, Russell was in no mood to let go off the opportunity once again as he smashed another six to complete a 32-run over.
The 33-year-old completes 14-ball fifty
After Pretorius took a single off the first delivery of last over, Andre Russell show resumed again as the all-rounder smashed Obed McCoy for two back-to-back sixes. He needed 8 runs in last two balls and Russell did the formalities in style as he smashed two brilliant boundaries to complete a sensational half-century in 14 balls, the fastest in history of CPL.
McCoy had bowled a bouncer to Russell on the final delivery but the 33-year-old stretched to produce a brilliant shot towards deep mid-wicket as the ball went over the fielder and landed just inside the boundary rope.
Watch the shot here:
After a brilliant knock with the bat, Russell continued his all-round show on the day as he took a safe catch to dismiss Rahkeem Cornwall. He followed it up by taking the wicket of Andre Fletcher, summing up a perfect display in St Kitts.