Today was no different in Delhi. Bravo came into the attack in the 14th over and was clubbed for 17 in his opening over by Rishabh Pant. The West Indian, though, made a resounding comeback in the final phase of the innings - the 15-20 overs period where he usually thrives.
Bravo removed Pant and Colin Ingram in the same over before dismissing Dhawan off the first ball of the 18th. From 0/17 after one over, Bravo finished with figures of 3/33 in his four overs - his fourth best figures in the IPL. He had broken the momentum of the Delhi innings which had looked threatening with the Pant-Dhawan partnership.
His final three overs (all post the 15th over) cost just 16 runs and yielded three crucial wickets. Five of his last 18 balls were dots and Bravo contained the scoring rate while picking up important wickets to derail Delhi's innings.
There is a reason Dhoni reserves Bravo for the final few overs. More than 50% of the balls Bravo has bowled in the IPL have been delivered after the 15th over. He has enjoyed the maximum success in this role. 89 of his 137 IPL wickets have come in this phase.
He has taken three-plus wicket hauls nine times in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings in 92 matches and is now level with Ravindra Jadeja for most such hauls for the franchise.
Meanwhile, it was the first time he has dismissed Rishabh Pant in T20s. He has dismissed Shikhar Dhawan and Colin Ingram once before - both in 2018.
His record in all T20s is excellent. Bravo has 483 wickets in the format in 439 matches with 45 three-plus wicket hauls in his career. He is the highest wicket taker in the format with Sunil Narine coming a distant second. No bowler has also taken as many three-plus wicket hauls as Bravo in a T20 career.
A wonderfully skilled death bowler, Bravo is CSK's trump card in those final few overs.
First Published: March 27, 2019, 1:17 AM IST