Ian Bishop the commentator. Carlos Braithwaite the batsman. Last over of the chase. “Carlos Braithwaite! Remember the name…” screamed the former fast bowler on air as the all-rounder smashed four consecutive sixes to win the T20 World Cup for West Indies at Eden Gardens in 2016. After that high, there was a significant lull in Brathwaite’s career. He went past 30 only five times across formats, which was quite low a number for someone billed to be an all-rounder. Earlier this year though, he reminded us of his batting ability with a quickfire fifty in an ODI against England, where Windies were chasing over 400. Against Australia a couple of games ago in the World Cup, he walked in with his team needing 73 in about 11 overs to overhaul the 288 made by the Aussies. But he miscued a low full toss to mid-on and let the opportunity go abegging. Those were Brathwaite’s games for the taking. And here he was versus New Zealand. He sauntered in to bat when West Indies were 142/4 and saw the side slip to 164/7. They had lost five wickets for a mere 22 runs. The hopes were all but high. It would have been hard not to have thoughts about the previous failures that Brathwaite had endured. But he played one of the innings of this World Cup, if not all-time, and ran the Kiwis close. The Stokes treatment His onslaught meant that from almost being down and out, they were on the verge of winning. With 33 needed off the final three overs, Matt Henry was given the treatment meted out to Ben Stokes in Kolkata, with 25 runs smashed off the 48th over. In an era when scoring above 10 an over is also considered normal, Brathwaite had brought the equation down to less than run-a-ball. Eight in 12 then. The penultimate over was entrusted with Jimmy Neesham. A couple of years ago, he was waking up hoping it would rain everyday so that he didn’t need to play cricket. From being the main all-rounder for New Zealand, he was reduced to being a watcher, because of his indifferent form punctuated by injuries. He had almost given up on the sport, more so after the high the Kiwis finished on in the 2015 World Cup. Yet here he was. His captain trusted him with the responsibility over Colin de Grandhomme, the preferred allrounder for New Zealand till Neesham made a comeback in January this year. The plan was there to see – bowl short with long leg-side boundaries for Brathwaite. Bouncer restrictions mean bowlers are usually wary of going overboard with the tactics. But Neesham wasn’t. This was an assured player on show, as different from his former self as ODIs differ from Tests. Neesham gave away just a couple, and even that possibly due to Martin Guptill not returning a quick throw. But with only six needed off seven balls, Brathwaite’s confidence was soaring higher than his tall self. Will Neesham bowl full? Will it be banged short? Will Brathwaite take a single? Will he go for glory? It was banged in short, the hard length as they say. Brathwaite swung for eternity and seemed to have made pretty good contact. But Trent Boult manning long-on moved quickly to his right, adjusting well after he appeared to have misjudged the trajectory of the ball, and took it over his head, maintaining his balance. That was it for the men in maroon. One of the pictures of this World Cup must be a dejected Brathwaite down on his haunches after he was caught. But what stood out was the restrained elation of Kane Williamson after the win. He was one of the first to go to the West Indian and console him. Probably, he knew New Zealand had got out of jail and was dignified enough to not go over the top with the celebration. Gentleman’s game? It was for everyone to see. It was, after all, the Kiwi skipper’s 148 that had made the task difficult for Brathwaite & Co. Brathwaite felt his shot had the legs to go the distance. “I was willing it to go up and up and up. It’s a game of margins. One or two yards more, we would have been victorious tonight,” said the all-rounder after the game. It was “pretty cool” to watch, admitted New Zealand’s star with the ball: Boult. But cooler was the Kiwis’ gesture of going up to console Brathwaite. Can you ever hate the Kiwis? But the night had to belong to one man. Carlos Brathwaite the batsman. And Ian Bishop the commentator, again. Yet there were different words to sum up the emotions this time. History hadn’t repeated itself. “The dream has diminished for Carlos Brathwaite, here in Manchester…” Indeed it has.