England v West Indies, World T20 2016 final, Kolkata April 4, 2016

'Marlon told me to just swing for the hills'

Sidharth Monga, Arya Yuyutsu and Abhishek Shanker
Carlos Brathwaite on facing that last over, why he chose to finish it off with a six, and feeling sorry for Ben Stokes
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Play 02:54
Samuels to Brathwaite: 'Swing for the hills'

Nineteen runs required off the last over of a World Twenty20 final, and a rookie in his eighth T20 international stuns the world by doing it. If that is impressive, wait till you listen to him talk about it. To call it brute hitting would be grave injustice. This was the coolest execution you can imagine in such pressure.

It is a typical hot and humid Kolkata afternoon. We are at the Victoria Memorial for the official photo shoot of the champions. Darren Sammy and Stafanie Taylor, the respective captains of the men's and women's champions, are dressed in maroon blazers despite the heat. It has been a long night of partying, and they are losing further fluids by sweating under the mid-day sun. We get five minutes with Brathwaite, but in those five minutes, he shows how clear and smart his thinking was, and how well he reads the game. He displays great sportsmanship, too, in feeling for Ben Stokes, and in respecting Chris Jordan's bowling. He is, in the truest sense, a "champiyaan".

Can you talk us through the 19th over? Especially the dot at the end.
[We] Pretty much knew Chris' [Jordan] plan. He bowls very good yorkers at the death. For that whole over he wanted to hit that length. [It] forces you to hit through to the off side, to the bigger side of the field. I was trying to get a scoop over extra cover or mid-off to get a boundary and take some pressure off Marlon [Samuels], who was in the 80s by then. It wasn't to be. Off the last ball of the 19th over, I was hoping Marlon could do the job and get a boundary and make it a little easier in the last, but Chris bowled an excellent yorker.

First ball of the last over…
I know in between the overs - we always believe - Marlon came down to me and told me, "Whatever happens, I am running. Just swing for the hills." Get bat on ball, make sure we use every delivery to get the maximum amount of runs we can get at that point of time.

First ball of the last over was a bit down the leg side. I played a little pick-up. I actually looked a little frantically, thinking that I had hit it to the big side. Fortunately, it went over fine leg, which is one of the shorter sides. Marlon was running. I knew there was still a big task ahead.

Second ball…
Second ball went over long-on. I think he just missed his mark, Ben Stokes. I actually had to bend to get under the ball, but I knew I had to swing. When I looked up and saw that it went for six, there was a little more feeling of ecstasy, knowing we were a little closer to home, but you can't take anything for granted.

Third ball…
Seven off four, again told Marlon, bat on ball and we run. The third one was the best of the lot. It was also a mis-hit, but I think he [Stokes] executed it well. I just got it over, kind of spooned it over long-off. And then, I knew the West Indies are world champions, but I didn't want to get too far ahead of myself. One run, and I knew I had to swing for the hills, because again, the field was coming in. I knew if I got it past the field, we were world champions. I watched the ball again, and made good contact. Even though the last ball went for six, until the guys told me four sixes is amazing [I didn't know where the ball had ended up]. I knew that it went over mid-on, knew we were world champions, and then I don't know...The feeling that got over me, I can't explain it.

Ben Stokes is an absolute legend in his own right. You shouldn't forget what he has done for England in the past couple of months. Cricket is a cruel game, and a lot of people can be on him, but just remember Stuart Broad was hit for six sixes by Yuvraj [Singh], and his career has gone on the up ever since

Did you feel for a moment that you should just deflect it for a single?
Last over, in a final, it is always difficult to bring it too far down, but after having done all the hardwork and getting three sixes in three balls, one run off three balls was needed, and I didn't want to leave it too late. The field was in. In those situations, you can probably try to get a single, someone gets run out, then another good ball is bowled, and we may have a Super Over. My thing was just to get the ball over the infield. Thankfully, it went for six.

Champion: 'I knew that the ball went over mid-on, knew we were world champions, and then I don't know...The feeling that got over me, I can't explain it' Ryan Pierse / © IDI/Getty Images

You stood so still, kept going into the crease. Were you expecting just yorkers and knew he wouldn't bowl the slower ball or the bouncer?
I backed myself for the length slower ball. If that was the case, I would have backed myself to hit to the long side. But yeah, I knew it was basically two plans he could have used, which was basically the yorker, either wide or straight, or a slower ball into the wicket to try to hit me to the long side. So I was prepared. And from watching the guys scoring runs in the tournament - I like to watch a lot of cricket - those guys stay really still, and those guys react well, and I just wanted to stay still, forget the crowd, forget the occasion, and just concentrate on watching the ball. Thankfully, it worked last night.

Did the field set give it away to you that you were going to get just the yorkers?
In the last over, there are only two plans he could have had - slower balls into the wicket, or full and straight. Knowing England, they pride themselves on being a good death-bowling team, especially with the yorkers. It was very important to get away the first one or two balls and put the pressure back on him. Get the target down to a manageable score. But yeah, the two plans were going to be into the wicket, forcing me to hit into the big side, or yorkers. We don't think he hit the mark as well as he would have liked to, but I still want to give God thanks for helping me to execute my plan the way I wanted to and get the balls over the boundary.

You didn't nearly hit them as hard as you can, did you?
I miscued the third one. But a 65-metre six and a 94-metre six are still six runs.

You have had a night of celebrations. The morning after, do you feel a little for Ben Stokes?
Yes, Ben Stokes is an absolute legend in his own right. You shouldn't forget what he has done for England in the past couple of months. Cricket is a cruel game, and a lot of people can be on him, but just remember Stuart Broad was hit for six sixes by Yuvraj [Singh], and his career has gone on the up ever since. To Ben, tough luck last night, commiserations to you and the England team. Wish he has a long and successful career ahead of him.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rahul on April 7, 2016, 5:11 GMT

    No wonder Sammy was so displeased with Nicolas comments. Also I think it was poor captaincy from Morgan. When the 1st ball was hit for the six he could have slowed down the game, Looked at plan B. Bit of mind games. It was WI who was under pressure and had to do all the running. But England just went with the flow.

  • mattcw0583684 on April 6, 2016, 21:27 GMT

    Think it was so smart when he played that lap sweep off a Jordan Yorker earlier in the piece that went for 4 = totally messed up England's planning and they had to bring up long on and sacrifice fine leg... = more confidence playing the down the ground shots..... sooooo not all brute power but some HIGH class as well... a bit like his kind words about Ben at the end = one of the 'good guys'. These 2 have a great future in front of them and can't wait to see them duel against each other in future series... hold on to your hats!

  • SirNookieOMighty_D963A672-0C98-4D3F-8233-7D82D5E87307 on April 6, 2016, 7:56 GMT

    I get some joy by reading about the WI team in general. They are a great nation, and their players are top lads. Although my heart belongs to team Indian, WI, NZ and SA takes a joint 2nd place.

  •   Chandra S Yangalasetty on April 5, 2016, 21:34 GMT

    Well played, Carlos Brathwaite. He hit four awesome sixes that won the world cup. This could be the part of the folklore and a hero is born. Ben stokes would endure the humiliation and will be better cricketer and human being. Carlos plan could have easily gone wrong, but that day he got it right, with wonderful results. England did not have Dhoni as the captain, to delay the game, talk to the bowler and to try a couple of different plans like to come round the wicket, change the length of the ball, bowl just short of good length, pack the onside field with tall fielders etc, etc. .. Ben stokes did not try anything different and kept firing yorkers on the wickets and on the leg stump, and literally played into Brathwaite's hands..

  • Miyoshi on April 5, 2016, 15:28 GMT

    Carlos Brathwaith was actually a classmate with pop singer RIHANNA when they were in high school in Barbados. i JUST READ ABOUT IT TODAY.

  • Richard on April 5, 2016, 14:50 GMT

    Congratulations Carlos from an Englishman. You are very noble in victory - far more than your arrogant team-mate Marlon Samuels (who scored 175 runs in 13 innings since saluting Stokes, with Stokes scoring more in one day vs SA!). If England weren't to win, WI or NZ would have been my second choice so I am glad, it's just a shame Samuels is on that team.

  • Rhonda on April 5, 2016, 14:03 GMT

    Eng & Aus fans stop badmouthing WI team when you have no idea what WI players endure. The Eng & Aus press have been spreading nonsense for years about a 'decline' in cricket and calling us mercenaries, or disrespectful. However, for years we've had a board who gets money but doesn't invest in infrastructure (no new facilities), who picks teams based on who is most deferential to them, who pay late and change contracts after agreements and who blame everyone but themselves for problems. Our Board can take a year to pay for one match. Our best players sometimes pay for their own hotel rooms. They stranded our women in a hotel in SA this year where they were robbed & assaulted & refused to move them after because of 'availability'. Who can work under those conditions? WI are not mercenaries. WI have families and we're trying to feed them. The Board has been asked to leave by CARICOM and refused. Sammy spoke out of frustration, not lack of decorum & we love him for it. We know the truth.

  • Harsh on April 5, 2016, 11:47 GMT

    Carlos Bradwaith's final assault was like a script written for a Hollywood epic with an unbelievable twist and turn.Although Merwyn Samuel's was mainly the catalyst of the classic triumph it was bradwaith who delivered the magical finishing touches to take West Indies across the line.Carlos took intensity and combative character in sport to it's ultimate zenith.It almost looked as though it was all set up for him to finish the game.Morally considering his capturing 3 wickets in addition to his sensational batting Bradwaith should have been the recepient of the man of the match award.Samuels consistently saved the ship from sinking taking his team within touching distance of the traget but it was Carlos who virtually pulled of the impossible.I appreciate Bradawaith's sporting attitude towards Ben Stokes which boosts the spirit of the game.For 95% of the chase England had won and the Calypsos deserve to win because of Carlos's sensational finishing burst.

  • leftyb7421825 on April 5, 2016, 9:59 GMT

    Pity England dint put 170 plus on the score board,we could have seen more of Brathwaite that way...!!True to the Windies dictum ' the ball is there to whacked", the Brathwaite last over assault is already folklore...!!!

  • Matt on April 5, 2016, 9:00 GMT

    "Samuels probably does not need lessons from this impressed England fan"

    Lets be clear, I'd be just as critical if it was an England player talking trash in a press conference. Samuels played a magnificent innings, one for the ages, it's a shame he felt the need to carry on off the pitch. Say what you like about Stokes, but he's always respectful of opponents off the field. Play hard on it, be humble off. I'm not trying to set a code of conduct, and I'm definitely not trying to be patronising, or post-colonial, or anything else which could be read into my nationality. My sincerest apologies if that's how I come off.

    But anyway, back to Carlos Brathwaite, what a player, what a moment, hats off.

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