WORCESTERSHIRE pace bowler Chris Russell admitted he did not expect to play T20 cricket for the county at the start of the season despite currently topping the wicket takers chart in the shortest form of the game.
Russell took three wickets in the final over to help his in-form side maintain their grip at the top of the T20 Blast’s North Division with an eight-run victory against Derbyshire on Friday (June 13).
And the 25-year-old, who is enjoying his second T20 campaign with the New Road club, is currently the competition’s leading bowler with 13 wickets in five games at an impressive average of 12.46.
A delighted Russell told the Observer dismissing Australian batsman Marcus North proved key when he was given the task of bowling at the death.
“I’m really chuffed, I was hoping Jack (Shantry) would leave me 18 runs but he left me 15 so I thought ‘OK, if I get a couple of dots then they will have to hit every ball for four’,” he said.
“Luckily I got a dot first ball then the next ball went for four and getting North out was a big one because with him all it takes is a couple of hits and it’s all over. He’s an international player and he could have done it.
“I didn’t honestly expect to be playing T20 at the start of the year, I was thinking if I get a chance I get a chance. I did ok in the second team and things worked.
“I’ve stuck to what’s worked for me and it is paying off nicely for me at the moment.”
And Russell hopes his team can stretch their winning run to six games when they face Midlands rivals Birmingham Bears on Friday (June 20).
“I think it’s sold out so it will be a great atmosphere at New Road and hopefully we can turn them over and pick up another two points,” he added.