Andre Russell’s hat-trick and lightning-fast 121 for Jamaica Tallawahs completed the most incredible run chase in Caribbean Premier League history.
The Tallawahs skipper dominated an enthralling four-wicket win over the Trinbago Knight Riders in Port of Spain to become only the second person to take a hat-trick and score a century in a T20 fixture. Joe Denly was the first to achieve this incredible all-round performance in the T20 Blast in July.
Russell’s century was truly phenomenal, coming off just 40 balls (12×4, 3×6), the fastest in CPL history.
Russell’s day started off with a minor setback as he lost the toss, with the Knight Riders electing to bat first.
Chris Lynn and Colin Munro made up for the early loss of Sunil Narine (seven) and shared a 98-run partnership before Lynn was brilliantly caught by Russell off the bowling of Krishmar Santokie after scoring a 27-ball 46 (S/R 170.37, 4×4, 3×6).
Munro went on to score 61 off 42 deliveries (5×4, 3×6) before he was caught by Ross Taylor at long on off the bowling of Adam Zampa.
Brendon McCullum and Darren Bravo continued the dominance with an 86-run partnership, during which McCullum reached his fifty before Russell had him caught for 56 off 27 balls (5×4, 4×6). With the batsmen having crossed, Bravo was clean bowled the next ball by Russell after a 16-ball 29. The bowler completed his hat-trick by dismissing Denesh Ramdin for a golden duck, caught at deep mid-wicket by Andre McCarthy.
The loss of these three key wickets stalled the free-flowing Knight Riders’ innings somewhat, but it could not prevent them from setting the Tallawahs a mammoth target of 224 for victory.
Ali Khan removed Glenn Phillips and McCarthy in the first over, before following up with the wicket of Kiwi dangerman Ross Taylor leg before in the third over, as the Tallawahs stumbled to 15-3. Big-hitting Rovman Powell fell for a single in the fourth over (16-4) as the Knight Riders looked set for a massive win.
With the Tallawahs reeling on 41-5 after 6.1 overs, Russell swept hard at the first ball he faced and top-edged Fawad Ahmed to deep square leg, where bowling hero Ali Khan spilt the catch.
Russell and Kennar Lewis took advantage of the reprieve to blast their side back into the contest with a 161-run partnership, the highest in CPL history – Lewis’ contribution being 27% of those runs (44 off 29 balls).
Along the way, Russell registered the fastest ton in CPL history and Lewis reached his own half-century before Fawad Ahmed had him caught for 51 off 35 balls (4×4, 2×6).
Russell took his side home with three balls to spare as he finished on 121 off 49 balls (6×4, 13×6).
In such a high-scoring contest, the bowlers naturally took considerable tap, but the Knight Riders’ Ali Khan proved his mettle (despite having dropped Russell off the first ball he faced) by taking 3-24 (econ 6.00) with 14 dot balls. Earlier, the Tallawahs’ Imad Wasim had taken 1-23 at just 5.75 runs to the over.
Photo: Ashley Allen – CPL T20/Getty Images