WI trio thrilled with Champions League T20 success
BANGALORE, India (CMC): West Indies (WI) players Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree and Dwayne Smith say they are proud to be a part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad which were crowned Champions League Twenty20 winners on Saturday.
Chennai beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by eight wickets in the final at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium to lift the tournament title for the first time.
Bravo, the West Indies one-day captain who is a seasoned member of the squad, said the title was the one that had eluded him.
"I am very happy and I must say well done to Suresh Raina and a fantastic knock also from (Brendon) McCullum. Words can't explain how I feel. It is a trophy I've never won before, so I'm very happy," Bravo said moments afterward.
Bravo had little role in the final, sending down two expensive overs for 24 runs as KKR piled up 180 for six. He then never got the chance to bat as Suresh Raina blasted a breath-taking 109 not out to steer Chennai to victory with nine balls remaining.
Even when McCullum, who made 39, became Chennai's second wicket to fall, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni promoted himself above Bravo in the order, to finish off the game with 23 not out in an unbroken 58-run, third-wicket stand with Raina.
"The game was set up for the captain to finish off in the end," Bravo said of Dhoni's promotion in the order.
"He has been a great leader for us and it is good to see, in the final, he was there to bring it home along with Raina. So very well done to both of them and well done to the whole CSK team as well."
Smith, meanwhile, had a weak tournament, managing just 60 runs from five innings at the top of the order. In Saturday's final, he scored just eight with two fours before being yorked by a slower ball from pacer Pat Cummins in the first over of the innings.
"I was quite disappointed in my performances, but having said that, the guys really got stuck into it. Every time someone failed, someone else picked up the slack. I remember telling Badree, 'If we qualify we're going to win this tournament,' and so said, so done," Smith said.
"For me, it is great. This is my second Champions League title and it's good to get to another championship and win trophies. I can't help but say it, this team is a great team and I'm sure this team is going to go from strength to strength."
Leg-spinner Badree played no role in CSK's campaign as he failed to gain selection for any of his side's matches. However, the Trinidadian said the experience had been a learning one.
"It has been an amazing experience even though I've not had many opportunities, but just being around this group of guys has been an amazing experience - just to sit on the sidelines and look on and learn as much as possible," Badree explained.
"I understand and appreciate that that's part of the Champions League - only four international players can play, and we have three international captains and Dwayne Smith, so to get into the final XI I know is tough.
"But having said that, I've been practising in the nets and I've been learning from these guys and learning from the international players and plying my trade as best as possible."
Bravo and Smith will now turn their attention to the five-match one-day international series against India, starting tomorrow in Kochi.