Andre Russell breezed his way to a 14-ball half-century, the fastest ever in the history of the tournament, as Jamaica Tallawahs registered a big 120-run win over St Lucia Kings on Friday. Russell’s blitzkrieg took Jamaica to a mammoth 255/5. In reply, St Lucia were all out for 135.
In his unbeaten knock of 50, Russell hit six sixes, four of which came in the 19th over by Wahab Riaz. Russell hit Riaz for 32 runs, mainly in the arc between long-on and cow corner. Obed McCoy, who gave just two runs and picked three wickets in the 18th over, was smacked for 22 in the final over. 54 runs in the last two overs led Jamaica to the second-highest score in the history of the tournament.
It was a match to forget for St Lucia. Their bowling attack was taken to the cleaners, including 14 wides and seven no-balls. Only Tim David, the Singapore batsman who recently signed for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final, made a fifty off just 22 balls. David shared a 53-run stand with Wahab Riaz but could not delay the inevitable as Jamaica ended St Lucia’s misery with 15 balls left in the innings.
Meanwhile, Isuru Udana and captain Kieron Pollard played huge roles in ensuring a six-wicket victory for Trinbago Knight Riders over Barbados Royals. Udana, the left-arm pacer, returned figures of 5 for 21 — his best in T20s — to bowl out Barbados for 122. In reply, Trinbago chased down the total with 19 balls to spare after being 38/4 in eight overs.
Barbados got off to a steady start, reaching 37 runs at the end of the PowerPlay for the loss of Johnson Charles. But Udana struck twice to remove Jason Holder and Glenn Phillips in quick succession. Azam Khan threatened to counter-attack, but Udana’s re-entry into the attack led to his and Thisara Perera’s dismissal.
Trinbago stuttered in their chase of the target losing three wickets in the PowerPlay as Mohammed Amir took the wickets of the top-order, leaving the defending champions at 18/3 in five overs. It became more worse when Oshane Thomas took out Tim Seifert with a top-edge on a rising delivery to deep square leg.
At 38/4, Trinbago were in a tricky situation. But captain Pollard took on the responsibility of resurrecting the chase with a brilliant unbeaten 58 runs from 30 balls. Along with the experienced Denesh Ramdin (unbeaten on 29 off 31 balls), the pair put on an 87-run partnership off 57 balls to see Trinbago home without any further hiccups.
Brief scores: Jamaica Tallawahs 255/5 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 50 not out, Kennar Lewis 48, Obed McCoy 3-52) beat St. Lucia Kings 135 in 17.3 overs (Tim David 56, Miguel Pretorius 4-32, Imran Khan 3-7) by 120 runs.
Player of the match: Andre Russell
Trinbago Knight Riders 125/4 in 16.5 overs (Kieron Pollard 58 not out, Denesh Ramdin 29 not out, Mohammad Amir 3/21) beat Barbados Royals 122 in 19.2 overs (Azam Khan 30, Glenn Phillips 24, Isuru Udana 5/21, Ravi Rampaul 2/13) by six wickets.
Player of the match : Isuru Udana