Gayle storm sinks Titans
Many may have anticipated another close match when a late surge from Ariful Haque (29), Nicholas Pooran (28) and Carlos Brathwaite (25) took the Titans to 167 for six, but ultimately the total appeared wholly inadequate as the special knock from Gayle brought an end to Khulna’s campaign.
One can say that scores of 17, 50, 51, 16, 33, 5, 0 and 38 was not a bad series of innings for a batsman in T20 cricket but fans expected more than the average from a batsman like Gayle, who finally fulfilled his immense promise yesterday with the first hundred of BPL’s fifth season.
The bowling, however, was pedestrian but the question remains about whether the bowlers forgot how to bowl after receiving such nonchalant yet murderous treatment. All of Gayle’s 14 sixes were highlights of the gigantic innings.
Abu Jayed swallowed two sixes for overpitched and full deliveries; Titans skipper Mahmudullah Riyad conceded three from overpitched, straight, and short-length deliveries; Jofra Archer was hit for one off the full and straight; Mohammad Irfan was punished for three maximums off deliveries short and outside off stumps, and one full ball; Two slower balls and middle and leg from Craig Brathwaite disappeared into the stands; Afif Hossain cursed himself for bowling one short around off and finally, Nazmul Hossain’s two short balls met an altogether expected fate.
The left-hander had a very modest start to his innings as he started with a single off the first ball but immediately indicated in the third ball of the first over what kind of nightmare was in store for the Titans bowlers as he let his hands go through with the lofted drive against Jayed for a big one over long-off.
Then it was a familiar destruction story as Gayle finished the job with consecutive sixes in the first two balls of the 16th over to remain not out on 126 and enhance his handsome T20 records.
For the fans, the records that he created hardly mattered; it was the entertainment the dashing left-hander treated them to that will remain in their hearts.
AFTERMATH OF A GAYLE STORM
– Chris Gayle’s unbeaten 126 is the highest individual score in five editions of the BPL, overtaking Sabbir Rahman’s 122 for Rajshahi Kings against Barisal Bulls in the last edition. Three of the top five scores are by Gayle, a recurring theme in this list.
– The 14 sixes he hit was the most in an individual innings in the BPL. The top five in this category is a club of one: Gayle is just competing with himself having hit 12, 11, 10 and nine sixes in four previous innings.
– Already head and shoulders above his peers in the career sixes category, Gayle notched his 800th career T20 maximum when he hit his 13th six yesterday. It is not a matter of playing more matches; next man on the list Kieron Pollard has hit 509 in 398 matches (1.28 sixes/match) while Gayle has hit 801 in 318 games (2.52/match).
– Gayle’s 45-ball century is the second fastest in BPL history, with Ahmed Shehzad’s 40-ball ton for Barisal Burners against Duronto Rajshahi in the inaugural edition in 2012 still on top.
– This is the 10th century in the five editions of the BPL, and Gayle’s fourth. The Jamaican hit two in 2012 for Barisal, and one in 2013 for Dhaka Gladiators. It is also Gayle’s 19th in T20 cricket overall, far above the next highest — Michael Klinger with seven.