Bravo move backfires for Essex in T20 finals day
Dwayne Bravo © AFP
Essex captain James Foster defended his side's decision to bring in Dwayne Bravo specially for English county cricket's Twenty20 finals day after he failed with both bat and ball in their semi-final loss to hosts Hampshire at the Rose Bowl here on Saturday.
West Indies all-rounder Bravo, flown in for this day alone, made just five runs and then took an expensive one for 46 in his four overs of medium-pace in a match Hampshire won by six wickets with four balls remaining as they reached a target of 157.
"Unfortunately, you aren't going to perform at your best every day," Foster said. "I still think it was the right move, but obviously it didn't work out for him.
"We had (New Zealand's) Scott Styris (earlier in the season), so Bravo was a like-for-like replacement.
"He is a class act. We are in finals day and he is a proven performer at international level for the West Indies, Mumbai and Trinidad."
Hampshire, by contrast, chose to do without Kevin Pietersen even though the batsman had been made available to them by the England management, and stuck with the players who got them to the last four.
Dominic Cork, the Hampshire captain, was delighted by the performance of his youthful side in a match where 19-year-old left-arm spinner Danny Briggs took an impressive three for 29.
"Essex can do what they want, but our policy was whoever got us through to the semi-finals plays the final," said Cork.
"There would have been a selection dilemma if (batsman) Michael Lumb was fit, but that was the only one really.
"The club, which includes myself, felt it was right that the young guys are the guys that lead us out there.
"I cannot praise these younger guys enough - they are a breath of fresh air," the 39-year-old former England all-rounder added.
"People often look to the big stars on these occasions, but it is just great to see these lads performing so well under pressure."
Hampshire will play the winners of the day's second semi-final, between Nottinghamshire and Somerset, in the final later on Saturday.
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