Gayle storm blows away Dhaka's Dynamites

West Indies icon smashes ton to guide side to comfortable win


Sports Desk December 13, 2017
BRUTAL HITTING: Gayle turned back the clock for a vintage six-laden shellacking that saw him smash almost everything and everyone out of the park. PHOTO COURTESY: BANGLADESH CRICKET BOARD

West Indies superstar Chris Gayle showed Pakistan Super League franchises what they'll be missing as he won Rangpur Riders the 2017 Bangladesh Premier League final in Dhaka with a swashbuckling 146 off just 69 balls — an innings that saw him smash 18 sixes and five fours.

Losing finalists Dhaka Dynamites, also the pre-match favourites, won the toss and asked the Raiders to bat first — a decision that momentarily seemed the right one, especially when Gayle's fellow West Indian and opener Johnson Charles departed in the second over, having taken eight balls for his three runs.

But all hell broke loose following his departure as Gayle turned back the clock for a vintage six-laden shellacking that saw him smash almost everything and everyone out of the park.

The only exceptions were Sunil Narine and perhaps Shahid Afridi, who conceded only 18 and 28 respectively in their allotted four overs each — further highlighting Gayle's age-old struggles against spin.

Gayle was well supported from the other end by former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who complemented the Jamaican with a 43-ball 51, which was laced with three sixes and four fours of his own.

In the end, Rangpur finished with 206 runs on the board with Dhaka able to clinch just that one wicket of Charles in the second over, bowled by Shakib alHasan.

A massive run-chase usually needs a steady start but Dhaka weren't afforded that privilege as they lost their first wicket — of Mehedi Maruf— in the opening over and were reduced to 29-4 by fifth over, with Sohag Gazi dismissing two of that quartet.

The home side's captain Shakibal (26) and wicketkeeper-batsman Jahurul Islam (50) arrested the slide and stabilised the ship with the fifth wicket not falling until the ninth over when the overall score had reached 71.

But Shakibal's fall restarted that wicket fall, with 10th and 11th overs seeing Mosaddek Hossain and Shahid Afridi depart. And with that any hopes of a Dhaka win were well and truly over.

Jahurul and Narine (14) strung together a 42-run partnership for the eighth wicket to make the margin of defeat somewhat respectable.

They, too, fell in the 17th over, with the tail-enders playing out the remainder of the overs, resulting in a 57-run victory for Rangpur.

Man-of-the-match Gayle was also named the man of the series.

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