Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Jamaica Tallawahs 255 for 5 (Russell 50*, Lewis 48, Walton 47) beat St Lucia Kings 135 (David 56, Pretorius 4-32, Imran 3-7) by 120 runs
Andre Russell unleashed mayhem, hitting a 14-ball half-century - the fastest in CPL history - as the Jamaica Tallawahs opened CPL 2021 with a massive 120-run win over an insipid St Lucia Kings on Friday.
The Kings bowled as many as 14 wides and seven no-balls, taking as many as two hours to finish their allotted quota of overs. For Faf du Plessis, it was the stuff nightmares are made of. Tough he called correctly and elected to bowl - perhaps the only thing that went right for the team - the Kings were staring at a monstrous 256 chase by the time he walked off for the break.
Russell walloped four of his six sixes in the penultimate over, taking an off-colour Wahab Riaz to the cleaners in the arc between deep square leg and long-on. The over went for 32 with Riaz finishing with figures of 3-0-61-0. It came on the back of Obed McCoy, the left-arm seamer, picking up three wickets in the 18th over as batter after batter fell looking to hit out.
The Kings started with Rahkeem Cornwall taking 14 off the first three balls, before top-edging a pull off young South Africa pacer Migael Pretorius, who would also remove du Plessis for a golden duck two balls later.
The Kings captain was beaten for pace by a short ball that he gloved to wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton. Pretorius would come back to pick up a third in his next over when he had Roston Chase nicking behind. But by then, the chase had already derailed, with the Kings reduced to 33 for 3, which would soon become 56 for 6 when Keemo Paul would be out to a suicidal run-out.
Singapore batter Tim David, who landed an IPL deal with the Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier in the week, showed glimpses of his big-hitting abilities. Using his big stride to muscle the ball cleanly over cover and through the leg side, David kept the runs ticking by, getting to his half-century off just 22 deliveries to help his side reduce the margin of defeat. His dismissal that gave Pretorius his fourth wicket on CPL debut ended any semblance of hope the Kings might have had of reducing the margin of defeat to double-digits, however.
If Russell's knock was blockbuster, Kennar Lewis' was the perfect prelude. The burly right-hander got stuck into Riaz, peppering the short leg side boundary with some muscular hits in his 22-ball 48 that consisted of two fours and five sixes. By the time he chipped a half-pull straight to deep midwicket, the Tallawahs had raced to 81 for 1 in six overs. It allowed Pakistan's Haider Ali and Walton time to settle in before picking up the pace.
Walton made 47 and his dismissal in the tenth over brought out Rovman Powell, who made 38. It wasn't until the 18th that Russell walked out to bat. And just when it elicited doubts if the Tallawahs had erred by sending him that late, he still managed to make an impact of the kind that has made him a T20 MVP over the years, effectively killing the contest with his blitzkrieg as the Tallawahs went home smiling.
Stats - Andre Russell tops JP Duminy, records quickest-ever CPL fifty
All the stats and records from a big win for the Jamaica Tallawahs over the St Lucia Kings