World champions West Indies took a giant step towards retaining their title with their walloping of Pakistan to reach the semi-finals of ICC World T20 2014 yesterday. And Man-of-the-Match Dwayne Bravo put the success down to three basic things.
“We were slow at the start and we lost some key wickets. Our aim was to get at least 135 to 140 with the start we got, but the self-belief we have, the form and the power we have, the momentum went with us, and we finished positively,” Bravo said after accepting his award.
Bravo led an onslaught with captain Darren Sammy which fetched a whopping 82 runs in the last five overs when they batted first, making 166 for six. He blasted 46 off 26 balls with four massive sixes.
“We are powerful enough if we get close to the ball to hit it over the ropes,” Bravo said. “In those situations, the best of them all go for runs. We had nothing to lose, we were under pressure. So I said to Sammy, as long as we stay still, don’t worry about picking or trying to rotate, just stay still, keep your eyes on it and hit it.”
This was Bravo’s second Man-of-the-Match award in an ICC World T20 match. His first came back in 2009 at Lord’s when he made a career-best 66 not out and took four wickets as West Indies beat India. The 30-year-old noted that his vast experience in this format and self-belief helped him while in the middle.
“If you take the game right down to the end, anything is possible, as long as we don’t give up and keep faith and have that self-belief that if we bat 20 overs, we’re going to get a decent total. But we have to bat 20 overs, so at no point did we let what happened in the middle overs get the better of us. That comes with experience and self-belief,” the Windies Number three added.
“It’s good we did not panic. We showed in the Australia game what the difference can be as long as we have clean hitters at the wicket, so that’s our aim, that’s our strong point and we use it to the best of our ability.”
Bravo also lauded his teammates for their tenacity and professionalism during the tournament so far.
“It is important that we leave our legacy as players, not only West Indian players but cricketers. We have young kids looking up to us. West Indies is a team that you should try not to upset,” he said.
“We don’t step on anyone’s corns... we have played hard and we play with a smile on our face. We have done well so far but we want to get better in the semi-final and take it to the final. Everyone in the dressing room is happy and we want to share our happiness with all our fans and supporters.”