West Indies star all-rounder Andre Russell may have disappointed the fans in the just-concluded Indian Premier League but his performance in the ongoing Lanka Premier League (LPL 2020) would be surely winning many’s hearts. Russell, on Saturday while playing against Galle Gladiators achieved a special feat.
Russell hit a 14-ball fifty as Colombo Kings smashed a record 96 runs from five overs in a staggering rain-shortened LPL clash against Galle Gladiators.
Russell’s half-century was the joint fifth-fastest in the history of T20 cricket, only bettered by 12-ball efforts for fellow West Indian Chris Gayle, India’s Yuvraj Singh and Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai and former England batsman Marcus Trescothick’s 13-ball onslaught for Somerset.
The rain-affected match was reduced from 20 overs to 5-5 overs. For the Colombo Kings, batting first, Andre Russell opened the innings and played an unbeaten knock of 65 off 19 with the help of 9 fours and 4 sixes to take the score of Kings to 96 runs in which Surrey’s Laurie Evans contributed 21 not out from 10 balls after Russell’s fellow opener Thikshila de Silva had been removed for a golden duck
In response, Galle Gladiators managed to score just 62 runs at the loss of 2 wickets and lost the match by 34 runs. Dansuhka Gunathilaka was the highest scorer (30 off 15) for Gladiators.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Russell said that his spectacular innings came despite his timing is a little off – but credited his bat speed as the reason he is able to hit the ball such a long way.
“You just have to back yourself – see the ball, hit the ball. It’s all about the bat speed, I swing real hard and that’s why most times I get the ball good on the bat it tends to go a long way.
I have been struggling to hit the ball for the last two months as clean as I would want to – even today I didn’t quite middle it as I wanted to but I appreciate the edges and luck that goes my way,” said Russell in the post-match presentation.
“I didn’t quite time most of those balls but it goes to show that when you swing hard the ball will still go over the ropes,” he added.