Rangpur win maiden BPL title
It was a one-man show by West Indian firebrand Chris Gayle as his blistering hundred in the final saw Rangpur Riders lift the trophy of the fifth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League with a 57-run victory against defending champions Dhaka Dynamites at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
It was a day when the opposition could only sit back and watch something exceptional unfold from a true entertainer, who made and broke records. He hit the most in a T20 innings with 18 sixes, became the first to reach 11,000 T20 runs and became the first to smash a century of sixes in the history of the Bangladesh Premier League.
The 38-year-old smashed his 20th T20 hundred, second in the ongoing tournament and first-ever in a final, leaving even a player like Brendon McCullum as a mere spectator.
The left-hander remained unbeaten on a 69-ball 146 while Brendon McCullum was not out on 51 off 43 as the pair added 201 runs for the second-wicket, which was the highest partnership in the history of the BPL.
Rangpur posted a huge 206 for one in 20 overs and it was none other than Gayle who stepped in to bowl the final over of the tournament in another dose of his showmanship. Dhaka needed 60 off that over and helplessly surrendered the chase on 149 for 9 in their allotted overs.
Shakib Al Hasan will definitely have a sleepless night after dropping a straightforward catch at cover when Gayle was on just 22, a mistake he perhaps never thought could be so costly.
Apart from Jahurul Islam’s fifty, Shakib added 26 as Dhaka’s star-studded batting line-up were made to look ordinary, losing wickets right from the start of the chase in the all-important final.
Off-spinner Sohag Gazi, Isuru Udana and left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam took two wickets for Rangpur as Mashrafe Bin Mortaza lifted the BPL trophy for the fourth time in his fourth final appearance in five BPL editions.
Earlier Rangpur looked to be in trouble after losing previous game centurion Johnson Charles for three, but after that it was simply a Gayle storm that kept the stadium on their feet till the end of the innings.
The left-hander, who didn’t hit a six until the 15th ball he faced, was unstoppable after getting that lifeline and reached his fifty off just 33 balls and continued to wallop Dhaka’s bowlers all over the park.