Lots of cricketers spend the better part of their careers dreaming of the moment they’ll lift a trophy on a big stage with the whole world watching, but only a few get there. Carlos Brathwaite wasn’t only able to make it on such an international level, but he owned it too.
The West Indies cricketer will be remembered for his contribution to the T20 World Cup finals in 2016, as the famous commentator Ian Bishop recently recalled, after hitting Ben Stokes for four sixes in Kolkata. Five years later after the famed night at Eden gardens, Carlos is still making headlines in the cricketing world while recalling his best day as a cricketer ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman. Here are Braithwaite’s best cricketing moments that will tell you why he’s still the one to watch today.
Braithwaite Becomes A West Indies Legend On 3rd April 2016
When England was at the cusp of glory during the T20 World Cup finals in Kolkata, Brathwaite was on strike and the team needed an almost impossible 19 runs off to claim the win. Fortunately, Brathwaite managed to do that in style, recording four consecutive sixes with Ben Stroked to help the West Indies pull off a remarkable victory of all time and got two balls to spare.
The West Indies began defending that title in Dubai last Saturday, where England won the first game by 8 wickets. India started the competition as the heavy favorites this year, but the West Indies are expected to do their best to defend the title they won thanks to Brathwaite in 2016.
The Underdogs Bite Back
Brathwaite wasn’t chosen for the initial West Indies team, but he managed to come as a replacement for Kieron Pollard who was nursing an injury. The team surpassed expectations that year, beating South Africa, Sri Lanka, and England to finish on top of their group before crashing India in the semi-finals.
According to Brathwaite, the team was buzzing and confident going into the tournament, but most fans expected them to finish above Afghanistan and go out in the first round. The team surpassed the expectations as they had everything to play for and they expressed themselves while nobody expected them to do anything.
During the time, the West Indies was packed with seasoned T20 cricketers that had played a lot of games in the Indian Premier League, making them the most equipped team to compete in the world cup. The players were accustomed to the T20 cricket, the crowd, and the grounds. That explains why Braithwaite and his team felt dumbfounded when they weren’t seen as favorites, although they were still happy to compete as the underdogs.
West Indies’ Hopes Face in the Final
During the finals, England recorded 155-9, with Brathwaite’s figures of 3-23 were quickly forgotten. In their attempt to come back, the West Indies recorded 11-3 and when Brathwaite joined Marlon Samuels with 107-6 on the scoreline, the team needed 49 off 27 balls.
According to Brathwaite, Darren Sammy went out and the team was looking around to see the best person to go in. Braithwaite just got up and managed to shoot out of the dugout to start batting. That was when he realized how huge the task was and he told Marlon that it was all about getting the bat on the ball.
Getting the ball on the bat was something that Brathwaite worked hard to achieve, but sometimes it can be hard in the last moments of the games. For him, a cricketer tries to get sixes and fours in the last moments of the games and might miss the ball completely. Nonetheless, the equation reduced to 27 off 12 balls, although Chris Jordan conceded eight off the last over of the game.
Six Balls With 19 Runs Needed
Braithwaite had recorded 10 off six balls while preparing to face Ben Stokes. Samuels had an unbeaten record of 85 off 66 and he stood as the non-striker. That was a great chase for Braithwaite looking at the scoreboard, but the team needed the six balls to win the game and the pressure helped him focus on the ball.
The first ball was down the leg, which helped him along. Brathwaite then started running as Marlon was going in circles, but he had to maintain his cool as that was only the first ball. The second ball also came off the bat sweetly and while Marlon gave it some big ones, the West Indies hadn’t sealed the win yet.
The third ball was a bit of a shank for Brathwaite, but it made fans love him as they were just one ball away from winning. However, Brathwaite knew he could let the guard down and soak at the moment that he worked so hard and for so long to get. Fortunately, the fourth ball came off the middle, and victory was theirs.