Patrick Noone analyses Dwayne Bravo’s record-breaking day
While rain threatened to scupper the chance for Trinbago Knight Riders to make it four wins from four in this year’s CPL, there was still enough play for one of their most famous sons to reach a unique milestone. Dwayne Bravo became the first player in history to take 500 T20 wickets when St Lucia Zouks’ Rahkeem Cornwall slapped a full delivery low and hard to cover where Colin Munro took a sharp catch.
Bravo does not need a milestone such as this to confirm his status as one of T20’s greats – his performances have long since been enough evidence of that fact – but the gap between him and the next highest wicket-taker on the list paint a stark reminder of just how dominant he has been over the years. Rashid Khan already has 300 wickets and time on his side; he might one day catch Bravo, but for now, it’s DJ who rules the roost.
It was fitting that the first player to reach the milestone should be a Trinidadian playing on his home ground in the land that many see as the spiritual home of T20 cricket. Bravo’s wickets have come across 14 years and 20 different teams. His 500th scalp neatly coincided as also being his 100th for TKR, the only franchise besides Chennai Super Kings for whom he’s passed that landmark.
What should not get lost amongst the talk of Bravo’s milestone is how well he bowled today against a Zouks side who came into the match off the back of three successive wins. His three overs went for just seven runs, he conceded no boundaries and he drew a false shot with 28% of the balls he bowled, a higher percentage than all his team-mates besides Fawad Ahmed (29%).
Two of Bravo’s overs were in the Powerplay, something that has been atypical for him throughout the bulk of his career. Only 15% of the balls he’s bowled in all T20s have been in the first six overs, and his previous outing was the first time he’d bowled in that phase in the CPL for almost two years. Proof that even the most experienced of players can add strings to their bow in the twilight of their career.
Thankfully for Bravo and the Knight Riders, the rain relented sufficiently to give them enough time to chase an adjusted target of 72, having restricted the Zouks to 111-6 before the rain arrived. That represented a disappointing effort from the in-form Zouks whose over-reliance on Andre Fletcher and Roston Chase left them wanting when both fell cheaply. The pair have scored 40% of the Zouks’ runs this season but neither could make serious inroads today.
Nonetheless, they were spirited with the ball and briefly threatened to cause an upset when they reduced TKR to 34-4 from 3.3 overs, but in the end Darren Bravo and Tim Seifert kept their cool to get their team over the line and continue their perfect record in this year’s competition.
Patrick Noone is a CricViz analyst