I love this 'spicy' T10, says Russell after his all-round spark
The globe-trotting West Indian summoned an all-round showing as the Warriors beat the Maratha Arabians by nine wickets
Andre Russell put the gloves on and threw punch after punch as the Northern Warriors floored the Maratha Arabians to successfully begin their title defence of the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 League on Friday night.
The globe-trotting West Indian summoned an all-round showing at the Zayed Cricket Stadium as the Warriors triumphed by nine wickets and with 18 balls to spare.
After snapping up two wickets with his medium pace bowling, the 31-year-old bludgeoned an unbeaten 58 from just 24 deliveries with six lusty blows and four boundaries, to light up the opening evening of the third season.
Russell was kicked about the sport's newest format. "I would describe this format as so entertaining," Russell said after the game.
"It is just quick spicy and I have no form of nerves going into bat. In terms of bowling, I expect a guy to hit me for a four or six and it's just a challenge for me as a bowler. Batting wise, I know that I have to get the job done. Bowling I would say, that's the only pressure because you have to get that ball right and if you don't get it right, another guy is going to be in business. But batting wise, it is so fun," he added.
Meanwhile, Arabians' captain Bravo was not too fussed about Yuvraj Singh's subdued debut in the format.
"He's a professional player, he's a world-class player and a human being. We treat him like any other player and we all know what he brings to the table. We all are happy to have someone like him in the dressing room," said Bravo.
Earlier, the UAE capital welcomed the rebranded League, the world's most abridged format, and while one would've expected a smash and grab from ball one, the start was an anti-climax.
Left-arm quick Chris Wood won the battle of the Englishmen by having opener Adam Lyth out for nought, off the first ball of the tournament.
But Chris Lynn and Chadwick Walton pulled the Maratha Arabians out of the quagmire with a 23-run stand for the second wicket. Walton was the most enterprising of the two with the West Indian stroking a 17-ball 24 with five boundaries.
Much later, after both had got out to Andre Russell and Nuwan Pradeep, former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh failed to fire.
The stylish southpaw, who last featured in the Global T20 League in Canada, did have a start by spanking a boundary but his innings was cut short before it could bloom.
The Arabians owed their score to Dasun Shanaka with the Sri Lankan clubbing an unbeaten 19-ball 37 with two boundaries and two sixes.
James Fuller provided further impetus with 13 from 12 deliveries, that included two boundaries.
Russell came away with miserly figures of two for 12 from his two overs, while Wood too picked two for 18.
The Northern Warriors next take on the Lahore Qalandars in the late game on Saturday night. The Maratha Arabians, meanwhile, too face the Qalandars, but on Sunday night.
Maratha Arabians: 88 for 6 in 10 overs (Dasun Shanaka 37 not out, Chadwick Walton 24, James Fuller 13, Andre Russell 2-12, Chris Wood 2-18) lost to Northern Warriors: 91 for 1 in 7 overs (Andre Russell 58 not out, George Munsey 24 not out) by 9 wickets.
Man of the Match: Andre Russell (Northern Warriors)
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