I trusted Johnson to deliver under pressure - Bravo
Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel captain Dwayne Bravo placed faith in Delorn Johnson, who had bowled only one over till then, to defend 19 off the final six balls in a rain-curtailed match, and it paid off as they beat Antigua Hawksbills by one run to record their second win in five matches in the Caribbean Premier League.
Johnson, the left-arm seamer, was given the ball ahead of fast bowler Fidel Edwards and Bravo himself, the latter having picked up two wickets as well.
"I think it was a tactical judgment on my behalf to let the slower bowler, the one with more variations, bowl the last over," Bravo said. "In our last two games he [Johnson] was our best bowler and he has a lot of variations and different balls in terms of slower ball, short balls, he can bowl full, wide and yorkers and then Edwards bowls fast-paced yorkers, so with an Australian [Ben Rohrer] at the wicket, I believed he would have been more comfortable facing Edwards in terms of using his pace."
Johnson Charles' rapid 46 off 28 balls, with four fours and four sixes allowed Rohrer, who had been at the crease since the sixth over, to settle and his 28 off 23 balls ensured Antigua were always in with a chance. He hoisted Sulieman Benn for a straight six in the 13th over and sent Kevon Cooper to the point boundary in the next to reduce the equation to 19 off the last over - the 15th, which began with Sheldon Cotterrell slamming Johnson straight over his head.
"When the first ball went for six, I did not panic," Bravo said. "Two balls and eight runs, I told him that this ball, the fifth ball was the most important ball. I asked him to bowl a wide yorker which he did and hence the reason why I had so much faith in him because he has so many variations and I trust that under pressure situations, he can deliver."
Bravo was confident the win was the beginning of a turnaround for his side, with his batsmen also beginning to find form. Bravo had top-scored with a 25-ball 46, which included four sixes, while his brother Darren and opener Adrian Barath had identical scores of 38. Despite the victory, T&T have to win both their remaining matches, against St Lucia Zouks and Jamaica Tallawahs, to qualify for the semi-finals.
"Our last two games were pressure games and it was like finals for us and for the guy to come out and perform after three losses it shows that the team has a lot of character and fight and that the guys are hungry for success," Bravo said.