‘The last ball, the thinking was right but the execution was wrong.’
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted that the execution of his last ball dismissal which led to his side’s one-run loss against West Indies was wrong but he sought to dwell on the positives from the nerve-wrecking first Twenty20 International match against West Indies in Florida, on Saturday.
“It was an amazing game. We couldn’t have expected more from the batting unit. The last ball, the thinking was right but the execution was wrong. Everything is judged by execution,” Dhoni said after the match.
Chasing a mammoth 246 for victory, India fell narrowly short as they finished on 244 for four after Dhoni was dismissed off the final delivery of the match, with two runs needed for victory.
Young opener Lokesh Rahul finished unbeaten on a sparkling innings of 110 not out, hitting 12 fours and five sixes in his 51-ball knock.
India needed two runs from the final ball to win the match but Dhoni failed to finish the game, slicing a slower delivery from Dwayne Bravo straight into the hands of Marlon Samuels at short thirdman, much to the heartbreak of the large number of Indian supporters at the stands at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground, in Lauderhill.
“We did most things right. Whenever there was a partnership, we kept the asking rate at just 12. I felt Rahul was outstanding throughout. The others too were superb because it’s not always easy to chase down 250. A win would have been perfect, but there were so many things we did right today,” Dhoni, who scored 43 off 25 balls, added.
West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite said that he gave the go-ahead to Bravo’s plan to bowl a slower delivery to Dhoni despite India needing just two runs for victory.
“When Bravo said he was bowling a slower ball at the end, I told him that he had my backing. But in my mind I was thinking ‘really?’. We never do things easy, but we held our nerve. We couldn’t quite tell who was the home team. It was a great game of cricket,” he said.
Asked what he thought when his captain threw the ball to him to bowl the final over, Bravo said, “With nine runs to go, I said we didn’t have anything to lose. I’d like to test my skills in these kinds of situations.”
“We know what MS (Dhoni) can do. He can finish off the game with one hit. I wanted to ensure the first ball didn’t go for a boundary. I wanted to keep my composure and back my skills with the two balls: the slower one and the yorker,” Bravo said.
“We wanted to keep midwicket in to prevent him from just hitting it towards that region. I was a touch apprehensive to bowl the slower delivery, but then I saw MS walking across and so bowled it (wide) and it worked out.”