Russell shines as West Indies beat England in first T20

Russell shines as west indies beat england in first t200

Veteran all-rounder Andre Russell starred in West Indies’ four-wicket triumph over England in the first Twenty20 international in Barbados on Tuesday.

Russell, who was given a surprise comeback after a two-year sabbatical, sparkled with bat and ball at Kensington Oval as the home side easily reached the victory mark of 172-6 from 18.1 overs.

Russell, 35, was the highlight of the West Indies bowlers, taking three wickets for 19 runs off four overs as England were bowled out for 171.

Russell then struck a quick-fire 29 not out to see West Indies home after a mid-innings hiccup threatened to put England back into the race.

Russell’s 14-ball performance comprised two fours and two sixes, including a monster six over midwicket off Adil Rashid.

West Indies smacked 14 sixes during the innings, including two massive swipes from starter Kyle Mayers early on that also sailed out of the ground.

Russell then smashed a magnificent ball over backward point off Sam Curran for four runs to win victory and a superb individual performance.

“Life is so funny,” said man-of-the-match Russell.

“Since when I got selected for the West Indies team I’ve been dreaming for two weeks now — and I was dreaming of being man of the match.”

England captain Jos Buttler lamented the tourists’ inability to capitalize on a bright start to their innings, which included a 77-run opening partnership.

“From the position we were in, we were looking for a score of 200,” said Buttler, who hit 39 while fellow opener Phil Salt put on a beautiful 40 off 20 balls.

“We want to keep pushing the boundaries and being as positive as we can.”

“But it’s about finding ways to keep scoring in that manner, getting those extra 20, 25 runs in an unfashionable way.”

On Thursday, the series’ second game will be played in Grenada.

Brief results:

England: 171 all out in 19.3 overs (P. Salt 40, J. Buttler 39, L. Livingstone 27; A. Russell 3-19, A. Joseph 3-54)

West Indies 172-6 (K. Mayers 35, S. Hope 36, R. Powell 31 not out, A. Russell 29 not out; R. Ahmed 3-39, A. Rashid 2-25)

West Indies triumph by four wickets.

West Indies leads the five-match series 1-0.

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