West Indies allrounder Andre Russell put together perhaps the greatest T20 performance ever to guide his Jamaica Tallawahs to an incredulous victory in the Caribbean Premier League.
Russell, as captain of Jamaica for the first time, took a brilliant catch to remove hard-hitting Australian Chris Lynn, captured a hat-trick in Trinbago Knight Riders’ final over, and scored a whirlwind century from just 40 balls to chase down 224 with four balls to spare.
Russell finished unbeaten on 121 from 49 balls, including 13 sixes – a CPL record – in what is the tournament’s fastest century and highest individual score.
His hat-trick consisted of former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin, caught in the deep for a golden duck.
And his catch to remove Lynn was a soaring effort at extra cover, a grab taken in two hands that looked to have injured his shoulder, but the allrounder carried on.
However, it could have been so different had Knight Riders quick Ali Khan taken a high catch running in from deep square leg that would have seen Russell out first ball to leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed and reduce the Tallawahs to 6-42 in the seventh over.
Remarkably, it's the second time a player has scored a century and taken a hat-trick in a T20 match. Kent's Joe Denly was the first just a month ago in England's T20 competition.
Russell’s incredible efforts overshadowed the power-packed display by the Trinbago batsmen.
Lynn crunched three fours and four sixes in his 27-ball 46 to get the Knight Riders off to a flyer.
New Zealand pair Colin Munro and McCullum kept the momentum flowing for Trinbago, who collectively hit 14 sixes.
Munro sent three deliveries over the rope in his 42-ball 61, while McCullum went one better, hitting four maximums in his 56 from 27 deliveries.
West Indies quick Kemar Roach was on the receiving end, hit for a CPL-record 64 from his four overs as Trinbago amassed 6-223.
In reply, Jamaica crumbled against an inspired spell of new-ball bowling by Khan.
The right-armer picked up the first three wickets, the highlight a stone-dead lbw against Blackcaps batsman Ross Taylor.
Speedster Shannon Gabriel made it 4-16 and when Fawad trapped Johnson Charles leg before with his first delivery, Jamaica was 5-41 and in all sorts of trouble.
But the dropped catch by Khan gave Russell the luck he needed, and he cashed in with 13 sixes and six fours in a T20 batting display rarely seen.
Russell combined with Kennar Lewis (52) to put on 161 for the sixth wicket, the equal-highest partnership in CPL history.
With Russell at the crease, Jamaica’s chances of winning went from unthinkable to a certainty, and the right-hander sealed the win with his 13th six in the final over.