Dwayne Bravo’s tornado at Wankhede blown away the hopes of Mumbai Indians fans on Saturday night as Chennai Super Kings registered a thrilling 1-wicket victory to open their campaign in IPL 2018.
While chasing the target of 166, CSK were tottering at 75/5 in 12 overs. However, Bravo changed the course of the game with his whirlwind knock of 68 runs (30 balls) as Chennai chased down the target with one ball to spare.
Speaking after the match, the Caribbean all-rounder rated the innings as his best ever in any format of the game.
“Best ever. I don’t think I have ever played an innings like this in any format. So this is a special one. As you can see, when I reached fifty, I didn’t even raise my bat. I knew the job wasn’t finished, there was still a long way to go. I was in a zone. I was just focussing on trying to get the game done for my team,” Bravo quoted.
“I was disappointed that I was out in the last over. But I played the innings that put my team in a position to win, and that is what happened tonight. I am just happy that I was able to contribute with the bat. It has been a while that I haven’t been able to make runs with the bat. This one will always be special to me,” he added.
Besides his stellar show with the willow, Bravo also proved his mettle with the ball. After being hit for 14 runs in his first over, the 34-year-old gave away just 11 runs in his next three overs while bowling in the death overs.
“I mark myself against the best in the world so in moments like this is where it really matters and I don’t enjoy bowling when there’s not much pressure on. When there’s pressure I need to focus a lot more and in the nets I prepare very well when I bowl to guys like MS (Dhoni) and Suresh (Raina) and these guys, who are good hitters,” Bravo said.
“Even when I’m playing for the West Indies, I bowl to (Andre) Russell and (Kieron) Pollard and those guys so it gave me confidence. I don’t just turn up in a game and it happens naturally. I prepare in the nets, I make sure I’m executing my yorkers properly so whenever I call on those special deliveries, I deliver more often. Tonight was a little tougher because I bowled the last three overs and the skipper asked me if I’m able to do it and of course I said ‘yes’ and again bowling to these guys is a big challenge,” he explained.
Bravo, who is a veteran of 376 T20 games, also said that he needs to be careful with his body now.
“Well, it’s on my mind in terms of I had to be more careful and I’m no longer 24 like how I used to be before, so I have to be very cautious, and as I said I started very slow and just needed to get momentum going into the game. But as you can see, as the game picked up especially in the later stages, this is where I’m more specialised and this is where the team needs me the most — at the close of the game,” he concluded.