Barisal crash despite Chris Gayle ton
Royal Challengers Bangalore all rounder Chris Gayle tore apart the Dhaka Gladiators bowling to score 116 off 61 balls, his second ton in the Bangladesh Premier League in a week but it was not enough to save his team from defeat. The Barisal Burners reached only 187/5, falling 21 runs short in their chase of the Gladiators score of 208/5 in their BPL clash at Mirpur in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The run fest at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur began when Barisal skipper Shahriar Nafees won the toss and inserted the Dhaka Gladiators in to bat, confident of chasing down any total the Gladiators could muster. He didn’t count for three of Dhaka’s overseas to come good on the same day though.
Pakistani players Imran Nazir (58 off 35, 4x3, 6x5) and Azhar Mahmood (77 off 47, 4x8, 6x3) and West Indian Kieron Pollard (36 off 24, 6x5) all slammed quick runs for their team to lift their total to 208/5 after 20 overs. Five of the seven Dhaka batsmen to visit the crease scored with a strike rate higher than 150, one of them higher than 200 and only one batsman, Anamul Haque scored at less than 100. Gayle himself suffered, giving away 38 in his three overs at an economy rate of 12.66.
Barisal Burners needed their imports to fire if they were to threaten the Gladiators score. Gayle’s opening partner, Ahmed Shehzad of Pakistan failed first up going for 7 off 7, dismissed by the Dhaka skipper Mashrafe Mortaza. The first wicket fell at 33 but Gayle was already in his element by then.
Two wickets fell in the mandatory power play for 48 runs, the three other batsman combining to add only 12 of those with Gayle in full flow at the other end. Following a disappointing three ball duck by Australian stalwart Brad Hodge, the RCB cannon brought up his 50 off 35 balls already having slammed three fours and five sixes in that time.
Gayle found support from Mithun Ali at the other end for the fourth wicket, the duo added 103 runs in 59 balls with Ali smashing a big six of his own but the Bangaldeshi couldn’t score at the pace required. Faced with an impossibly mounting asking run rate, Gayle was still amazingly keeping up, bringing up his ton off just 18 more balls with two more fours and five more sixes. His innings finally ended when he was on 116 off 61 balls with six fours and eleven sixes, bowled by Azhar Mahmood with the Burners score on 163 in the 18th over, needing another 45 off 21 balls.
The steam went out of the Barisal chase there, Mithun Ali and Kabir Ali failing to finish off an impossible task and Mithun’s dismissal off the last ball of the innings was the cherry on top of the Dhaka defence. The Burners ended up on 187/5 off their 20 overs handing the Gladiators a 21 run win.
It was the second consecutive defeat for Barisal after their 7 wicket loss against Khulna Royals on Monday, pushing them to fourth place on the points table. They now play the Muttiah Muralitharan starring Chittagong Kings on February 16th.