Andre Russell hammered a 14-ball fifty as Colombo Kings smashed a record 96 runs from five overs in a staggering rain-shortened Lanka Premier League clash against Galle Gladiators.
The Jamaican hit 13 of the 19 balls he faced to the boundary – nine fours and four sixes – en route to an unbeaten 65 in a Colombo innings in which Surrey’s Laurie Evans contributed 21 not out from 10 balls after Russell’s fellow opener Thikshila de Silva had been removed for a golden duck.
Russell managed three more runs on his own than Galle did as a team with Gladiators scoring 62 in the chase to lose by 34 runs in Hambantota.
Kings, who had been put into bat by Galle captain Shahid Afridi, powered the highest score in any reduced five-over-a-side match, with Russell taking the Gladiators’ attack apart.
The 32-year-old nailed three fours and two sixes in Mohammad Amir’s first over and followed that with a six and three fours off Asitha Fernando in the second.
Russell was on 44 from 11 balls and a six away from matching the fastest T20 half-century in history but could only take one from the 12th delivery he faced and had to wait two more balls to hit the milestone.
He reached it with a four behind point off Amir, whose two overs went for a combined 46 runs with Evans also smashing the Pakistan quick for consecutive sixes.
Russell then struck a four and a six in Shahid Afridi’s 13-run final over as Kings fell just four runs short of three figures in a quite startling innings.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Russell said that his spectacular innings came despite his timing being a little off – but credited his bat speed as the reason he is able to hit the ball such a long way.
“You just have to back yourself – see ball, hit ball. It’s all about the bat speed, I swing real hard and that’s why most times I get the ball good on the bat it tends to go a long way.
“I have been struggling to hit the ball for the last two months as clean as I would want to – even today I didn’t quite middle it as I wanted to but I appreciate the edges and luck that goes my way.
“I didn’t quite time most of those balls but it goes to show that when you swing hard the ball will still go over the ropes.”