IPL 2018: Knock against Mumbai Indians is my best ever, says Dwayne Bravo
With CSK needing 47 off the last 18 balls to chase down Mumbai Indians' 165-4, the match seemed to be headed for an expected finish
CSK's Dwayne Bravo during his match-winning knock against MI
The DJ at the Wankhede Stadium had gone mute, but Dwayne 'DJ' Bravo brought the crowd on its feet as the West Indian played a 'champion' knock to announce Chennai Super Kings' grand comeback to the Indian Premier League (IPL) fold after a two-year suspension.
With CSK needing 47 off the last 18 balls to chase down Mumbai Indians' 165-4, the match seemed to be headed to an expected finish. But Bravo turned things around in quick time as his 30-ball 68, which included a 25-ball half century, left everyone spellbound. He first took Mitchell McClenaghan for 20 runs and then slammed three sixes in the next over to leave Jasprit Bumrah's reputation in tatters.
Bravo categorically termed himself "a specialist" in crunch situations and Saturday's match provided the perfect platform for the West Indian to redeem his form after struggling with injuries for the last few years.
"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 and Suresh and these guys, who re good hitters. Even when I'm playing for WI, I bowl to (Andre) Rusell and (Kieron) Pollard and those guys, so it gave me confidence," said Bravo after CSK's thrilling one-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians in the opening encounter.
Bravo had no doubt that Saturday's breathtaking knock was his best-ever. "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," said
It wasn't just his incredible effort with the bat, Bravo, who went for 18 runs in his first two overs, was exceptional in death overs conceding just seven runs in the 18th and 20thover. It was monumental as overs 17th and 19th went for 36 runs.
Bravo said he relishes death overs with bat and ball. "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, I embrace it, I enjoy it and tonight was just my night," he said.
In saying so, Bravo did not fail to praise hamstrung Kedar Jadhav's scoop six that pocketed the game for CSK on the penultimate ball of the final over. "Can't forget Jadhav, who came back and showed a lot of fight and a lot of guts. To hit that six is a special, special moment. From thereon, we had the game," concluded Bravo.
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