West Indies batsman Andre Russell’s maiden T20I half-century and a spirited comeback with the ball helped his team win the series opener against Australia on Friday. Russel had to wait for 10 years to hit a half-century in this format. He scored 50 runs in just 26 balls at Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St Lucia. Russell, who made his debut in T20I against Pakistan in 2011, was playing his 55th international T20 match.
Russell completed his maiden half-century in international T20 cricket by hitting a six over square leg off Mitchell Starc. However, Russell could not stay on the field for long after completing his half-century and Josh Hazlewood stopped his innings at 51 runs.
The all-rounder came to bat at number six and blasted 3 fours and 5 sixes in his explosive innings. He also hit two sixes in a row against Starc and Ashton Agar.
With just 65 runs on board, West Indies had lost 4 wickets, with Russel’s quickfire knock the team managed to put up 145 runs for the loss of six wickets.
Mitchell Starc gave away the most runs without a wicket for the second time in T20 cricket. IIn 2011, Starc went for 41 runs while playing for New South Wales against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru.
Replying to the West Indies total, the Australian batting just collapsed. In the end, West Indies beat the visitors by 18 runs in the first of five T20I matches. Both teams will play against each other in their second match on Saturday at the same stadium in Gros Islet.