Andre Russell put on a show as the West Indies won the third and final T20 against Australia on Tuesday night - and it was Adam Zampa who bore the brunt. The Windies posted a monster total of 6-220 in Perth, with Russell blasting 71 off just 29 balls, and Sherfane Rutherford adding 67 not out from 40.
The pair put on 139 runs for the sixth wicket - a new world record in T20 internationals. The partnership is now the highest for the sixth wicket in a T20I, breaking the previous record of 115 set by Tony Ura and Norman Vanua of Papua New Guinea against Singapore in 2022.
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Cameron White and Mike Hussey held the record for countries with full membership status, after they put on 101 for Australia against Sri Lanka in 2010. Russell and Rutherford's stand completely changed the complexion of the game after the Windies were in trouble at 3-17 early.
Russell came to the crease with his team in massive trouble at 5-79 in the ninth over, but showed why he is one of the most dangerous T20 batters in world cricket. He dished out most of the punishment to Aussie spinner Zampa, who finished with 1-65 off four overs.
It marked the worst figures by an Australian in a T20 international - overtaking Andrew Tye’s 2-64 against New Zealand in 2018 and Aaron Hardie’s 1-64 against India in 2023. Most of the damage came in Zampa's final over in which Russell blasted 28 - including four sixes.
Zampa came into the over with figures of 1-37 off three, but a dropped catch from Tim David on the boundary gave Russell a huge lifeline. If the diving catch had been taken, Zampa would have had figures of 2-43 with three more balls left in his spell. He instead finished with the expensive figures of his 77-match T20I career.
“I love to entertain the crowd," Russell said after the game, revealing his mindset against Zampa was: “I’m going to go at everything". He added: “I think that’s the advantage of this team - we’re never out.
“Five wickets down, there wasn’t any panic inside the changing room and when you have a team like this, I know what I can do, Rutherford is such a dangerous player in the middle, we have Jason (Holder), we have (Romario) Shepard to come so I wasn’t really worried to play my shots. I was happy we’re coming together and we’re definitely playing as a unit.”
— Haura 💌 (@daqat_al_qalb) February 13, 2024
— कट्टर KKR समर्थक 🇮🇳 ™ (@KKRWeRule) February 13, 2024
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Andre Russell wagon wheel.
He smashed 43 from 11 balls to Adam zampa. He scored 28 runs in 19th over bowled by Adam zampa. pic.twitter.com/t5SRwB9ujv
— sujay anand (@imsujayanand) February 13, 2024
David Warner stars in final international match in Australia
In response, Australia finished on 5-183 and 37 runs in arrears. David Warner smacked 81 off 49 balls in his last international match for Australia on home soil, but his dismissal triggered a collapse of 3-3 that ruined the hosts' chances.
Aaron Hardie, Warner and Josh Inglis all departed in the space of 10 balls, and the Aussies never recovered. Warner will take part in the upcoming T20 series in New Zealand, before finishing his international career at the T20 World Cup later this year.
"I'm well and truly done," he said after the game. "It's time for the youngsters to come through and showcase their talent. We've got extreme talent here. We're in good stead for the future."
Warner retired from Test and ODI cricket in January, but left the door open to play at the Champions Trophy (an ODI tournament) in 2025 if called upon by selectors. But his comments on Tuesday night appeared to put that option firmly to bed.
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