Zaheer Khan running in to bowl what turned out to be a formality. Bravo tonks him over extra cover for a huge six, capping a determined performance from the Mumbai Indians player.
How painful a loss it was last night! The margin of loss wasn't too big, but the crudeness of it will surely hit every Indian fan. When Captain cool ( MSD for the lack of a better word) won the toss and elected to bat, few would have thought what the windies would do to the famed, beefed up batting line up. I think any T20 game is decided on basis of momentum and India quickly lost its momentum with the loss of Rohit Sharma very early on in the innings, falling to a bouncer in the second over. The windies were perhaps unearthing one of the oldest indian ghosts, the short ball. What a tactic it turned out to be as the batsmen were caught hopping. When Gambhir fell to Dwayne Bravo's first ball, it sent alarm signals in to the line-up and out came Captaan Cool.
MSD's stint at the wicket was nothing short of a nightmare. He hardly seemed to get going. Getting stuck at one end, the runs were drying up, whereas Yuvraj singh, prince of patiala as so called by FIP was playing like a prince. He showed signs of the form that the team badly needed. Watching Dhoni bat took me back to games in the IPL where Dhoni battled for the CSK. As if this wasn't enough, Lalit Modi was seen in the stands. (Thankfully he wasn't shown again and again as in the IPL days. Nor was he being referred to as the mastermind , the man running the show. Thank you ESPN STAR) I think a sigh of relief would have gone thro Lords as MSD departed, having wasted a huge portion of 8 overs that he was at the crease. While he was at the crease Gayle smartly bowled himself and his other dibbly dobblies with good effect. Once MSD departed, the team got on its feet as yuvi and yusuf got together in a blitzkrieg. Thank god for the duo and a late order lusty hitting from Bhajji, india managed a decent 153.
What hurt the team the most was perhaps the loss of momentum. The windies must ve been jittery when they lost their captain with team needing close to 9/9.5 an over. But in came Bravo, the man who had destroyed the indian batting with 4 wickets. From the moment he stepped in, he batted like he was possessed. Boy, the kind of strokes he played would make any cricket fan happy. After decent spells from the spinners, windies needed 35 to 40 off the last 4 overs. Then, the unthinkable happened, MSD introduced Ishant. This was a shocker, cos Lambu isn't a T20 specialist and was very vulnerable to leak runs. And Bravo went boom boom. 16 runs off the over and the rest is history. Bravo sealed a thumping win for windies. What was baffling was that Irfan and Zaheer had overs up their sleeve when Lambu bowled.
I think the high point of MSD's captaincy was always the kind of decisions he made, which more often than not, turned to gold. But his decision to bring in Ishant at that point in the match surely raised more than a few eyebrows. The people who were chanting his name till last month would i guess be vying for his throat if India gets knocked out, which I reckon is most likely to happen. MSD has lost matches but this would be one where he let the team and the fans down esp with his batting!