It was nearly three years ago, when Carlos Brathwaite stunned England with his gargantuan hitting in the final of the World T20 at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, to give the West Indies their second trophy. The all-rounder had slammed 34 not out in just 10 balls to snatch the game away from the Three Lions in the end overs. The Caribbean batsman revived the memory of that match on Saturday and this time it was in the 50-overs World Cup at Old Trafford, Manchester.
New Zealand reached an imposing first innings total on the back of skipper Kane Williamson’s brilliant century knock and Ross Taylor’s impressive fifty. In the second innings, Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer got Windies off to a great start before a great collapse almost drowned them. But Brathwaite had other plans in his mind. Taking the No.11 Oshane Thomas with him, the Barbados cricketer kept on hitting a strong New Zealand attack mercilessly.
He stitched a vital stand of 41 runs along with Thomas for the final wicket of which the No.11 scored zero not out but did the urgent work of blocking deliveries when his partner was off the strike. Brathwaite plundered a total of 25 runs in the 48th over which was bowled by pacer Matt Henry and Windies needed just eight in the last two overs. James Neesham bowled a fabulous second last over and conceded just two runs before getting the murderous batsman caught at the boundary rope by Trent Boult with the West Indies requiring just six more to win.
Ganguly praises Carlos Brathwaite
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly was impressed with Braithwaite’s hitting. In a tweet, the 46-year-old said every World Cup needed a hitter like him to remain alive. The 101 off 82 balls was Brathwaite’s maiden international hundred and he also picked two wickets in the match for 58 runs – a performance that would have earned him the Man of the Match crown had he pulled off the final shot.
Ganguly also praised New Zealand for their performance. In six matches, the Kiwis have five wins while one game was washed out. The West Indies, on the other hand, are almost out of the reckoning now with just one win from six matches. “Carlos braithwate.. every World Cup needs u to keep the tournament alive .. what an innings .. well done newzealand @windiescricket” wrote Sourav Ganguly on Twitter.
Carlos braithwate.. every World Cup needs u to keep the tournament alive .. what an innings .. well done newzealand @windiescricket— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) June 22, 2019