- Dwayne Bravo helps West Indies level 5 match T20I series against South Africa
- In the 4th T20I against SA, Bravo saw his career-best T20I bowling figures
- West Indies beat South Africa by 21 runs in the fourth T20I
The 37 year old Trinidadian cricketer, Dwayne Bravo, got hit career-best T20 International bowling figures of 4 for 19 which led West Indies to a successful defence of a modest total of 167 as the home side pulled off a series-levelling 21-run victory over South Africa in the 4th match of the five-match series on Thursday.
As West Indies set a target of 168 for South Africa, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard belted an unbeaten 51 off 25 balls hitting 5 maximums and 2 boundaroes to lift the West Indies to 167 for a loss of 6 wickets, the Proteas relied heavily on the consistent Quinton de Kock in their quest to clinch the contest ahead of the final match on Saturday at the same venue.
However, that could not go on for long as when Bravo sent the top scorer of the game, with 60 runs, at the beginning of the 18th over was the death-knell for the visitors’ effort.
The 37 year old all-rounder added two more victims in what was the final over of his allotment to ensure that the last encounter of this South African tour will have the feel of a final.
After 20 overs and losing 9 wickets, South Africa could only score 146 runs and now would be looking concerned over the fitness of their key pacer Anrich Nortje, who took a painful blow on the left knee in the midst of Pollard’s late assault.
The innings from Pollard along with his unbroken partnership of 66 with Fabien Allen (19 not out) for the seventh-wicket was critical in giving the Caribbeans a fighting chance after they were put in to bat first for the first time in the series.
On yet another occasion, West Indies saw themselves struggling against the spin of Tabraiz Shamsi and George Linde with Shamsi equalling his personal-best economical figures of 2 for 13 from the third match in claiming the important wickets of Nicholas Pooran and Andre Russell.
If we speak about Linde, he was no less effective, his four overs costing 16 runs while he had considerable cause for celebration in claiming the wickets of Lendl Simmons and Shimron Hetmyer.
Simmons was able to get his team off to a blistering start, taking 20 runs off of the opening over of the match from part-time spinner Aiden Markram. He was able to set the early pace with an innings of 47.
Having said that, the introduction of the two specialist slow bowlers put an immediate brake on the scoring and not long after then wickets started falling at regular intervals.
The West Indies skipper said, “I was just happy to be there at the end to make an important contribution.
“I must commend Bravo’s effort with the ball as well, especially as he has faced a lot of unnecessary criticism with people saying he is too old now to be a productive member of this team.”
West Indies were hampered in the field when frontline spinner Fabian Allen injured his right shoulder attempting a boundary save early on.
However, by then the senior players were already making significant contributions as Chris Gayle, back in the team for this match, had de Kock’s opening partner Reeza Hendricks stumped with the first ball he bowled.