West Indies were down. They were supposed to be out. The crowd in Manchester was packing up. But then came the sound. Ball hitting bat. And flying into the stands. Carlos Brathwaite was in one of his bowler-bashing, reality-defying six frenzies. And he nearly pulled off one of THE greatest ODI chases of all time. This is when the madness was at its peak.
Varun Shetty is on ball-by-ball commentary. West Indies are nine down, still needing 33 off 18 balls. Matt Henry comes on.
47.1 Henry to Brathwaite, 2 runs, miscued pull but he has managed to drag it to deep square's right. Too early through this shot as he tries to drag the short ball from wide outside off
47.2 Henry to Brathwaite, SIX, clears long-on! Flat-bats it and hardly gets height on this, but he's got plenty of distance. Literally swipes from above waist height
WATCH on Hotstar (India only) - Gayle smashes 87
47.3 Henry to Brathwaite, SIX, and another! It is no longer a clear New Zealand advantage! Low full toss wide outside off. Reaches out and gets bat - just enough bat - to get it to land on the padding at deep backward point!
Ohhh boy! Conference - four man conference. New Zealand are feeling this. Matt Henry is feeling this. He began this England tour conceding 107 in the first warm-up game. He's been here - West Indies taking him apart. It's happening again. Can he hold his nerve? It's a packed off side field, it's going to full and outside off
47.4 Henry to Brathwaite, SIX, it is too full! It is too far outside off! Knee high full toss with lots of width and he smokes it over wide long-off! Unreal. How does he keep finding himself in these situations, and doing this? Three in a row.
What now for Brathwaite?
47.5Henry to Brathwaite, FOUR, top edge clears the wicketkeeper! Heart in the mouth, but the fortune is all his, it seems! Bouncer cramps him at the chest. He has no control over this shot. But it's trickled through to the third man boundary. 24 off the over!
47.6 Henry to Brathwaite, 1 run, lofted to third man's right and he will keep strike! Short outside off and he holds his composure
Wow. How does he keep finding himself in these situations? 25 off the over. Eight required off two overs. He's on 99. Will it be CDG or Neesham for the 49th? It's Neesham
48.1 Neesham to Brathwaite, no run, short of a length outside off, watchfully tapped to extra cover
48.2 Neesham to Brathwaite, no run, beaten! Whew. Short and wide outside off. Backs away and has a swipe but it some distance away from connection
Surely he's thinking 8 off 4
48.3 Neesham to Brathwaite, no run, beaten again. Short and wide outside off. Once again he's gone for the pull. Misses again
Point, cover comes in, extra cover, mid-off in
48.4 Neesham to Brathwaite, 2 runs, pulls out to deep midwicket and comes back for the second! What. An. Innings. He doesn't get to do a lot very often, down at No. 8. But every time he finds himself in this situation, he shines through. A hundred. An unlikely win in sight. Takes his helmet off, blows a kiss. Back to it.
48.5 Neesham to Brathwaite, no run, legcutter, short and spinning past off stump as he shapes to pull and is deceived again. Beaten. This is a great over from Neesham
48.6 Neesham to Brathwaite, OUT, has he done it? No! Boult plucks it at long-on! Two drops for Boult since the last game, but he's held on when it's mattered! They're checking for no-ball...it's well behind the line. This is heartbreak for Brathwaite. So close. Short ball at middle, he pulled it, but slightly from under again. Ended up slicing it, with no room. It was to Boult's right. He leaped, he held on, he balanced on his right foot. That is solid work under pressure. Both batsmen on their knees, and then Brathwaite gets up with a smile. He did his all, and then some. But it was always unlikely. And you feel like he knows that. Smiles from his opponents as they offer their commiserations. It's all shakes. It could have so easily been the other way round...
CR Brathwaite c Boult b Neesham 101 (117m 82b 9x4 5x6) SR: 123.17