Andre Russell’s innings in Monday’s match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils spanned just 12 deliveries. But when you clear the boundary off half of those deliveries, you know you’ve done something special.
Russell did everything Knight Riders required of him at that stage. He walked in at 117 for 4 in the 14th over, with Knight Riders seeking some end-overs thrust to take them to a dominant score, and he provided that with minimal fuss. Daredevils could have avoided so much of this mess had Jason Roy clung on to a catch off the third ball Russell faced. With Mohammed Shami angling a shortish delivery into him, Russell swiped and skewed a top-edge towards Roy, who slightly mistimed his dive after running in from long-on and failed to hold on to the low chance.
As it turned out, that was the only moment when Shami came close to getting the better of Russell. The rest of that contest was a demolition. Having already collected a six off the ball before the drop, Russell slapped two more this side of the reprieve. When Shami returned for his next over, he found Russell in an even more unforgiving mood.
You couldn’t fault Shami for not trying, but Russell just stood unfazed. Short ball, ramped over third man; full ball, mowed over long-off; knuckle ball, carved over deep point; length ball, swung over midwicket. It was almost as though Russell came out exclusively to brutalise Shami. He pillaged 40 off his 41 runs, and all his six sixes, against him. In 22 balls during Russell’s stay, KKR shot from 117 to 178. Daredevils never managed to recover.