“I don’t think I have ever played an innings like this in any format. So this is a special one,” this was what Dwayne Bravo said after the tournament opener of the Indian Premier League 2018 and this was what meant to be described in the exact way the Caribbean giant killed the defending champions in the kick off match of the eleventh edition of IPL.
Perhaps all Mumbai Indians thought of how to celebrate their first win in the season in front of the full house Wankhede stadium, not only the first win of the year but also the break the losing streak of previous six years in the opening match of IPL, when Chennai Super Kings were down in the dust losing 6 wickets in 84 runs while chasing 165.
But by the time a Caribbean striker is still in your stock – you could think something differ. So did happened for CSK. Bravo, still there hiding in the bush, watched batting partners came and go in a rush, blazed apart everything Mumbai Indians have had to offer in that particular match.
226.67 strike rate isn’t enough to showcase the excellence of the innings Bravo played silencing the home crowd at the end. The contrast of bravo’s batting with that of others was wondrous.
He single handedly crowned the Chennai Super Kings’ innings. He stood with highest 68 runs, the second highest was 24 by Kedar Jadhav.
The 68 runs came off 37 deliveries with 7 wondrous sixes and 3 fours.
At the end of the match, Bravo said again, “I thought that if I bat deep and till the end, we have a good chance of winning the game because Wankhede is a ground where if you miss your length and Yorkers, the ball can travel.”
“You mistime a few, get a few edges go your way and the bowling team is always under pressure. The margin for error is so small in this format, if you miss your Yorker by an inch, it can go for six as you saw that tonight,” he said more.
Appreciating the support from skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Bravo said, “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 is someone who knows my ability. He has shown a lot of faith in me – with bat and ball. It was only a matter of time that I got the opportunity to repay the faith,” he added.
Last but not the least, all-rounder Bravo bowled his full quota in the match; bowling 4 overs, he conceded 25 runs.
However, CSK rose straight up in the point table. In the second day of the league, Kings XI Punjab will face Delhi Daredevils in the first match at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.
It will be followed by the second match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.