Bravo lifts Bushrangers to second win
MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC):Effervescent West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo snatched three wickets and then played a cameo to lift Victoria Bushrangers to a handsome six-wicket victory over New South Wales Blues with two balls to spare in the Twenty20 Big Bash yesterday.
The right-arm medium pacer grabbed three for 32 as the Blues, winning the toss and batting, reached a competitive 178 for six off their allotted 20 overs at the MCG.
Bravo then smote an unbeaten 18 from eight balls to ignite a late innings acceleration and fire Victoria to 179 for four and to their second successive win in the tourmament.
Openers Brad Hodge and Matthew Wade gave the Bushrangers a lively start when they posted 69 off just 43 balls.
Wade carved out 41 from 24 balls with four fours and two sixes while Hodge got 40 from 36 balls with three fours before both batsmen, along with captain Cameron White (14), all fell quickly as Victoria stumbled to 105 for three in the 14th over.
David Hussey then brought the game to life with a 16-ball 38 decorated with two fours and three sixes and added 48 from 24 balls for the fourth wicket with Andrew McDonald who hit a measured, unbeaten 21 from 16 balls.
26 from 15 balls
When out-of-favour West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Smith removed Hussey to an amazing catch by Steve Smith leaping high on the long-off boundary, Victoria still required a tricky 26 from 15 balls.
Bravo managed just one run from his first three balls but blasted the fourth straight overhead for six and then hammered the next ball through point for four.
In the next over, he heaved Smith over midwicket for his second six and then scored the winning run with a single into the on-side.
Earlier, Bravo broke a promising opening stand of 60 from 32 balls between Phil Jacques (33) and David Warner (40), the latter of whom he removed to a catch at the wicket with his second ball.
He then prised out Usman Khawaja for 13 to trigger a collapse that saw four wickets fall for 47 runs off 43 balls, as the Blues struggled.
But Dwayne Smith came to the party, scoring a typically aggressive 25 from 15 balls with two fours and a six, while sharing 45 for the sixth wicket with namesake Steve Smith who finished unbeaten on 35 from 26 balls.