Best-ever innings: Bravo on MI onslaught
Mumbai: All-rounder Dwayne Bravo termed the incredible 30-ball 68 against Mumbai Indians "my best-ever" innings, which paved the way for Chennai Super Kings' sensational return to the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Coming back from a two-year ban, CSK rode on Bravo's blitzkreig to chase down a target of 166 with a wicket and a ball to spare after staring defeat at 118 for eight in the 17th over last night.
"(It's my) best-ever (innings). I don't think I have ever played an innings like this in any format. So this is a special one," said Bravo.
He pummelled seven sixes and three fours at the Wankhede Stadium, leaving the Mumbai Indians bowlers shocked.
"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 focusing on trying to get the game done for my team.
"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," the West Indian quipped.
He also explained how he handled one of the world's best white ball bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah, who was carted for three sixes at the death and praised teammate Kedar Jadhav, who came back to hit the winning runs after retiring hurt.
"Bumrah is one of the best bowlers in the world. It was just my day, I'll take that. I just wanted to stay still, keep my eyes on the ball, have a good swing. Here at Wankhede the ball travels every time you miss the length. Just get a good contact and the ball will go.
"I was just trying my best to bat till the last over. I thought that if I bat deep and till the end, we have a good chance of winning.
"Those two overs, we needed 15 an over. So at some point, I had to take a chance and it worked off. Anytime you hit a boundary, whether it is a six or a four, automatically the bowler is under pressure."
Bravo came out to bat when Super Kings were reeling at 75 for five with the asking rate nearing 12.
"(We) 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 moment," he said.
Asked what skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had to say about the knock, Bravo replied, "Captain Cool said 'well played', nothing special. This is someone who knows my ability. He has shown a lot of faith in me."
MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene did not express surprise at what Bravo did, saying his side can take away some positives too, from the stunning loss.
"Obviously (Dwayne) Bravo is experienced in keeping his nerve and finishing it off. Not surprised, he is a batsman (for whom) we had planned as well. We knew that those guys were going to bat up the order because they played that extra bowler.
"I thought we bowled really well up until the last three overs, probably did not execute the plans the way we wanted to, but credit to him (Bravo), he batted brilliantly."
He also praised Suryakumar Yadav for helping his team recover from a poor start in the company of Ishan Kishan.
"I thought the way Surya (Yadav) batted when we were two down, he showed a lot of maturity with the way he approached and guided Ishan (Kishan). "You need to forget about the last 3-4 overs of our bowling as I think up until then whatever we did was a lot of maturity and energy shown on the park," the Sri Lankan great said.