Andre Russell paid tribute to the T10 format after producing a match winning performance to get defending champions Northern Warriors to a resounding win over Maratha Arabians.
The two-time World T20 winner for the West Indies grabbed two wickets and smashed a 24-ball 58 not out for his side to post 91 for one in seven overs after restricting the Arabians to 86 for six at the Zayed Cricket stadium on Friday.
Russell struck twice from his two spells. He had Chris Lynn caught by Chris Green at long-on in the third over of the inning and got one through the defence of James Fuller in the eighth.
The West Indian all-rounder arrived at the crease on the fall of Sam Billings (1) at 12 in the third over and featured in an unfinished partnership of 79 for the second wicket with George Munsey.
Russell’s knock contained six sixes and four fours.
“It is a good way to start,” Russell said. “We are the defending champions so it was a good showcase for all us out there.
“We caught well, we bowled well and we bowled to our plans and that led to restricting them to 88. And getting that total as quickly as possible was the plan as well. So, we executed all of our plans.
“Last year we did well so this year we have to make sure that we start well and keep the momentum going. The plan, as I said, was executed well today and we just want to go from strength to strength.”
The Arabians captain Dwayne Bravo said they played a good game for their bodies to get going as he too was returning to cricket after a surgery on his broken finger.
“It was first game of the tournament and it was good to get our bodies going,” he said.
“It never is good to lose games but as I said not a bad outing. For me personally I’m happy to be able to be on a cricket field as I haven’t been for three months. I broke my finger and did surgery and I’m still on rehab. I’m still happy to play again.
“It’s a new squad and a good chance for us to play as a team. So, it will take everyone to fulfil their roles and understand their roles.
“In this format anyone can beat anybody in any given day. They are the defending champions and they have the best players in the world where the white ball is concerned and the shortest format.
“We have a day’s break and back again for the next. And looking forward to the next game.”