Moments in Time: Hat-trick and a century, the day Dre Russ’ roar silenced Queen’s Park Oval

By August 24, 2020

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will be moving to the Queen’s Park Oval with each team having played each other once.

That being said, there have been some great moments in the shortest format of the game at Queen’s Park and today we remember, what perhaps is the greatest.

The night, August 10, 2018.

Two powerhouse T20 teams, the Trinbago Knight Riders and the Jamaica Tallawahs faced off and what was to ensue was truly breathtaking.

In what must have been the biggest advert for the CPL, the Knight Riders boasting a line-up of big hitters like Chris Lynn, Colin Munro, Brendan McCullum, and Darren Bravo were bravely sent into bat by the Tallawahs and the fireworks were nothing short of spectacular.

The combination of Krishmar Santokie, Imad Wasim, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Adam Zampa, and Rovman Powell were powerless, to stop an onslaught that should have ended the game as a contest.

The Knight Riders, courtesy of Lynn’s 46 from 27 deliveries, inclusive of three sixes and four boundaries, Munro’s 61 off 42 with five fours and three sixes, and McCullum’s 56 off 27 with four sixes and five boundaries told a tale of devastation.

The Knight Riders scored a mammoth 223-6 in the innings but it could have been worse had it not been for a hat-trick from Russell.

First, he had McCullum caught in the deep off Powell, before bowling Bravo who had raced to 29 from 16 deliveries and then picking up the wicket of Denesh Ramdin for nought.

Those three wickets in the final over should have been too little, too late, but perhaps accounted for the saving of a few more runs. With 223 on the board, nobody would have thought Russell’s hat-trick would have mattered, but it did.

When the Tallawahs bat, the usually reliable Glenn Phillips could only manage to fashion 6, while Andre McCarthy, 0, Ross Taylor, 1, and Rovman Powell, 1, all struggled under the immense pressure of the scoreboard and the suffocating bowling of a very balanced Knight Riders side.

When Johnson Charles got out at 41-5, the inexperienced Kennar Lewis and Russell were at the crease.

The game looked done even though only six overs had been completed in the Tallawahs innings.

With just four wickets in hand, the Tallawahs could not possibly hope to overhaul a target as massive as 223.

Russell could have been out with the first ball he faced in the seventh over, as his attempted slog-sweep went high into the night sky only to be floored by Ali Khan.

After trotting through for a single, Russell watched on as Lewis looked uncertain, swinging too hard and not getting full purchase on his shots.

But Lewis would keep the strike and rotate it with Russell until the last ball of Shannon Gabriel’s third over when Russell muscled an effort straight down the ground for four.

That eighth over would cost 20 as a second no-ball from Gabriel went for four byes, and another was hit for six. And thus began the Andre Russell show.

What transpired after that accounts for perhaps the most memorable performance in CPL history.

Over number nine went for nine runs as Lewis, though hitting Fawad Ahmed for a six off the second ball, could only fashion singles where boundaries were needed and the over produced  just three singles and two dot balls otherwise.

Narine was still bowling and so the run rate still hadn’t skyrocketed, as Russell hit him for one six in the 10th but singles were the only other scoring shots.

At 86-5 after 10 overs, the Tallawahs still had a mountain to climb, but they had a mountain climber in Russell, who looked ominous.

The big all-rounder was on 23 from 13 deliveries, while Lewis was on 22 from 19 and the team needed 138 from 60 deliveries.

Fawad’s third over, the 11th went for 15, as Russell hit him, once over midwicket and once over long off for two big sixes.

Russell had raced to 37 from just 18 deliveries but could he keep this pace?

In another over, he had brought up his half-century, hitting Narine into the Carib Beer stand with a slog sweep before heaving another over wide long-on. Narine was not used to being treated that way.

Dwayne Bravo was brought in to pull things back with the last two overs going for 30, but even the master of deception was stumped as to what to do against the onslaught from Russell.

The first delivery of the 13th over went over mid-wicket, the second almost killed Bravo and the umpire as it struck the straight boundary behind him almost as soon as it was hit.

Even Bravo’s much-vaunted slower deliveries got the treatment as Russell adjusted to slam another six over long-on.

There was also some elegance, as Russell drove Bravo between point and cover to take 22 from the over.

When Narine pulled things back in the 14th over, which counted for just 11, the Tallawahs needed 75 from 36 deliveries, still a task and a half for five lower-order batsmen.

But Lewis and Russell were still there and Narine was reminded of that when the latter dragged a delivery from outside off over wide long-on for another six to move to 79 from 31 balls.

Bravo recovered with his third over, the wily medium pacer going full and wide to restrict Russel and Lewis to just four runs from the over.

Then the Knight Riders played an interesting card, bringing on Javon Searles, who played with Russell at the Kolkata Knight Riders.

The ploy did not work, as Russell slammed him over square leg with the second ball of the over, before hoicking one through square leg and another between deep mid-wicket and wide long-on to take the pace bowler for 18.

The Tallawahs were 171-5 but still needed 53 runs from 24 deliveries. Russell was on 88 from 38 deliveries while Lewis was on 39 from 30, Superman needed a little help.

But Lewis was still not timing the ball and his muscled efforts wreaked of miscues. In the 17th over, a swing at a DJ Bravo full toss came off Lewis’ pads and got him off strike, the Russell show could continue unabated.

The next ball went over wide long-on and the next, over long-off. The second shot took Russell from 94 to three figures from just 40 balls, bettering the 42-ball hundred he had scored in 2016. But Russell wasn’t slowing down. Even a well-bowled yorker from Bravo found the boundary as the big right-hander squeezed it out backward of point for four.

At the end of over number 17, Russell was 105 and had taken 20 out of another over, but at 191-5, there were still 33 runs to get from 18 deliveries.

In the 18th over, Lewis finally went, hitting Fawad to long on for Searles to take the catch, but not before slog sweeping the spinner through mid-wicket for four and holding his shape to hit over wide long on the two balls before.

But Russell was back at the crease, having crossed before the catch was taken to dismiss Lewis.

Another four and a leg bye off the final ball of the 18th over and Russell was back on strike for the 19th, with another 17 runs taken out of the total.

Ali Khan’s 19th over was a mixed bag, to say the least. With pressure on and the Tallawahs only needing 16 from 12 deliveries, his first went for four as Russell stayed leg-side to drill his full and wide effort through cover but only managed an inside edge down the boundary for four.

Then there was a wide and a no-ball, two dot balls and a single, resulting in 10 from the over.

The Tallawahs needed just six from the final over but Russell was not on strike.

If anybody could restrict the Tallawahs at this stage it was going to be Narine and when he bowled a dot ball first-up to Imad Wasim, there was hope he would do just that.

His second delivery was back of a length and Wasim pulled to wide long on for one.

The Tallawahs needed five runs from four balls.

But Russell was on strike and he wasn’t waiting. He would not leave it up to Imad to run the singles with him. Narine’s third ball produced Russell’s 13th six in the match, back of a length on middle stump, the all-rounder lifted his Kolkata Knight Riders teammate high into the night sky and well over the head of long-on.

A roar from Russell signalled the achievement of what should have been impossible.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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