Amazing Russell powers WI to 225-8
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – An extraordinary, unbeaten 92 from rookie allrounder Andre Russell hauled West Indies out of a trouble to 225-8 in the third Digicel Pearls One-Day International against India on Saturday.
Entering the fray with the Windies on the ropes at 96-7 in the 30th over, the right-handed Russell stroked eight fours and five sixes in a breathtaking 64-ball innings that kept the hosts in with a chance of staying alive in the five-match series.
He was just one of four batsmen to reach double figures as leg-spinner Amit Mishra (3-28) and seamer Munaf Patel (3-60) caused problems after India won the toss and chose to field at the Sir Vivian Richards Ground.
On a pitch that seamed, Kirk Edwards edged his second delivery behind off Munaf without scoring to leave the Windies one down without a run on the board in the second over of the day.
In-form opener Lendl Simmons stroked 45 and Ramnaresh Sarwan got 28, stitching up the innings with a 65-run stand.
Simmons played beautifully, striking four fours and a six off 68 balls while Sarwan was typically elegant in carving out two fours and a six straight off 38 balls.
The stand ended when Sarwan was run out attempting a quick single and this dismissal sparked a slide that saw six wickets tumble for 31 runs.
Russell then took matters into his own hands, dominating a 78-run eighth wicket partnership with Carlton Baugh (36) and a 51-run, ninth wicket stand with Kemar Roach (seven not out).
With just seven international matches behind him, the 23-year-old belied his inexperience by unfurling an array of expansive off-side shots and massive leg-side sixes, to rally the innings and take West Indies to at least a competitive score.
He belted off-spinner Yusuf Pathan for successive sixes in the 40th over and carted off-spinner and captain Suresh Raina for two more sixes and two fours in the 49th over that cost 22 runs.
Russell finished the innings with a flourish, cracking the last two balls for a six and a four as West Indies gathered 52 runs from the final five overs.