Jamaica Tallawahs 225 for 6 (Russell 121*, Lewis 51, Ali Khan 3-24) beatTrinbago Knight Riders 223 for 6 (Munro 61, McCullum 56, Russell 3-38) by four wickets
When Ali Khan took three wickets inside the first three overs to reduce Jamaica Tallawahs to 15 for 3 in a chase of 224, the USA seamer was matching his captain Dwayne Bravo move for move in a Trinbago Knight Riders dance-off. One false step in the field by Khan a few overs later and the party was over for the hosts at Port-of-Spain.
Khan spilled Andre Russell’s first ball at deep square leg in the seventh over off a top-edged sweep against Fawad Ahmed. The Jamaican then went onto a 40-ball hundred – the fastest in the CPL – in a record chase as Tallawahs won with three balls to spare.
Along with a hat-trick in the 20th over of the first innings, Russell’s 121 not out off 49 balls that included 13 sixes, capped one of the greatest all-round individual performances in T20 cricket.
Munro keeps motoring
Colin Munro’s excellent early season form continued. Entering seven balls into the match after Sunil Narine miscued an Imad Wasim arm ball, Munro produced his second half-century in three days, adding 98 for the second wicket with Chris Lynn. However, he was hardly the star of the innings, and would be well back in the queue of spectacular performances by the end of the night.
Brendon McCullum was scratchy early on, following the loss of Munro with the score 130 for 3 in the 14th over. He was on 7 off 12 balls before a full toss from Kemar Roach in the 17th over helped to loosen him up. That boundary commenced his second 12-ball stretch which netted 43 runs as Knight Riders raced past 200 on the back of McCullum’s 24-ball half-century. He was especially brutal against Roach in the 19th over, wrecking him for 30 runs that included a no-ball hit for six.
Russell tricks TKR
A four by McCullum off the first ball of the 20th over set the record for the highest ever CPL total at 216 for 3, but the next three balls went a long way towards allowing the record-setting first-innings score to become a record-setting chase. McCullum miscued a full toss next ball from Russell to long-on to end an 86-run partnership with Darren Bravo.
Darren Bravo then dragged a wide yorker onto his stumps on the next ball before Denesh Ramdin yanked a slower bouncer to deep midwicket to complete Russell’s hat-trick, only the second one in CPL history after a trio of googlies netted Rashid Khan the first one for Guyana Amazon Warriors last season against the Tallawahs. A dot and a six off the final two legitimate balls to Javon Searles ended an adventurous 10-run final over, one in which Russell did far more damage in the final calculation.
From hero to goat
Khan built on his brilliant spell from Wednesday night and struck three times in six balls against Tallawahs. He first cramped Glenn Phillips to create a catch at short third man. Two balls later, Andre McCarthy was bounced out and beaten for pace, attempting to pull Khan, which resulted in a simple catch to mid-on. Khan’s adrenaline was pumping when he had Ross Taylor pinned on the crease in his next over. He ended his opening spell with 3 for 15.
Shannon Gabriel had Rovman Powell chopping on later in the Powerplay to make it 16 for 4. Fawad Ahmed took over for Khan in the seventh over and just as he did two nights earlier against St Lucia Stars struck first ball once again with a googly, trapping Johnson Charles to make it 41 for 5.
It should have been 41 for 6 on the very next ball when Russell’s slog sweep swirled in the air toward Khan at deep square leg, but Khan misjudged the chance and nearly overran it coming in from the boundary, switching his hand position at the last moment to reach behind his head before the ball burst through his fingertips.
Russell’s record-setting night
When the ball went tumbling off Khan’s hands to the ground, it set the stage for a series of records to tumble over the course of the next hour. The fastest CPL hundred entering the night had been done by Russell in the 2016 playoffs against TKR off 42 balls. He went two better on this night.
If Russell sped along to his century like a Ferrari, Kennar Lewis drove a stagecoach in comparison as he took 34 balls to reach a half-century, though in reality much of his innings was spent tapping singles to get Russell on strike. The pair teamed in a 161-run stand that equaled the best for any wicket in the CPL while setting a world record for the sixth wicket in T20 cricket, going 35 better than Calum MacLeod and John Hastings had done for Durham against Northants in the Natwest T20 Blast in 2014.
Russell brought up his century with his 12th six, breaking a CPL mark for the most in an innings jointly held by Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle. Kennar Lewis fell in the next over to Fawad, caught at long-on, but by that point they had narrowed the equation to 22 off 14 balls. Two overs later, Russell clattered his 13th six to end the match with room to spare, putting the finishing touches on a memorable captaincy debut.