“Whether we win by one or 50, a win is a win.”
That was the view of Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel skipper Dwayne Bravo who was all smiles at a post-match press conference following his team’s close one-run victory over the Antigua Hawksbills in their rain-affected Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 match at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on Sunday night.
It was a tale of redemption for Bravo and his teammates.
Five days ago, the Red Steel were on the verge of being eliminated from the inaugural Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 when they lost their third straight consecutive match of the competition.
Skipper Bravo took the blame for their loss against the Jamaica Tallawahs last Wednesday and on Sunday night he was the man responsible for their second straight win.
The T&T captain bounced back strong with his best all-round effort of the tournament so far to lead his team to a tense one-run win over the Antigua Hawksbills on Sunday night.
The crowd was back on Bravo’s side, cheering each of the four sixes he struck during his explosive 25-ball 46 which included four sixes and two fours. He dominated the Hawksbills bowlers during his 73-run stand for the fourth wicket with younger brother Darren (38 off 30 balls, four fours) as the pair took the score from 91 for three to 164 for four in an entertaining six overs of batting.
The Hawksbills were given a revised target of 134 to win off 15 overs after a heavy shower stopped play after five balls with the visitors on four without loss.
However they were restricted to 132 for eight with the fans kept at the edge of their seats for the duration of the chase.
Samuel Badree got the first breakthrough for the Red Steel when Kieran Powell found Kevon Cooper at long-on but Johnson Charles silenced the crowd with three consecutive sixes off the leg-spinner over deep midwicket.
Charles hit 48 off 28 balls with four sixes and four fours to keep the chase alive but captain Bravo intervened once more to get his team back in the game.
His first ball sent back Rahkeem Cornwall. He followed up by bowling Charles during his second over to bring the Red Steel back into the contest as the Hawksbills slipped to 63 for three in the eighth over.
A double strike from Sulieman Benn in the 11th over had the visitors in further trouble but Ben Rohrer and Sheldon Cotterrell ensured the match went down to the wire.
The Hawksbills were 115 for seven, needing 19 off the final over with Bravo deciding to give the ball to left-arm seamer Delorn Johnson.
Cotterrell hit the first ball straight back for six and then scrambled three byes.
A nervous five minutes ensued as the visitors needed eight from the last two balls with Cotterrell on strike but Bravo’s faith in Johnson paid off.
He could have gone with Fidel Edwards, who conceded jut 13 from his two as opposed to Johnson who had 12 from one over.
But Johnson delivered, bowling a dot ball before Cotterrell finished the match with a six.
Earlier when the Red Steel batted, both Bravo brothers fell to Kemar Roach in the final over of their innings but not before giving the full house a reason to chant their names.
Even before the Bravos got to the middle, the fans were already on their feet after Adrian Barath (38 off 29 balls) smashed two fours and a six off Gavin Tonge in the fifth over of the match.
Ross Taylor (25 off 22 balls) kept the momentum going opening up in the following over, pulling Kemar Roach to the mid-wicket boundary for consecutive fours.
Their 54-run stand for the second wicket laid the platform for the Bravo brothers.
The Red Steel, who are now in fourth place, head to Jamaica for their final two preliminary round matches against the St Lucia Zouks and the Tallawahs which take place at Sabina Park this weekend.
Upcoming Limacol CPL T20 fixtures
Hawksbills vs Tridents, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, 8 p.m.
Tallawahs vs Amazon Warriors, Sabina Park, 2 p.m.
Hawksbills vs Zouks, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, 8 p.m.
Zouks vs Red Steel, Sabina Park, 10 a.m.
Tallawahs vs Tridents, Sabina Park, 2 p.m.
Hawksbills vs Amazon Warriors, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, 8 p.m.
Tallawahs vs Red Steel, Sabina Park, 2 p.m.