Chris Gayle lights up BPL opener with ton
Royal Challengers Bangalore allrounder Chris Gayle hit his sixth T20 ton, crossed the 3000 run mark in T20s and also became the first man to hit 200 sixes in T20 cricket as his Bangladesh Premier League team Barisal Burners charged to a 10 wicket win against the Sylhet Royals in the BPL opener at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur on Friday.
Winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, the Burners got an early breakthrough with the wicket of Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, the score at 10/1 in the second over. Another wicket in the 8th over, of Bangladeshi opener Imrul Kayes saw the Sylhet Royals go down to 52/2. They recovered well thanks to their two all rounders, skipper and Somerset allrounder Peter Trego and former Bangladeshi player Alok Kapali posting half centuries which took them to 165/4 at the end of their 20 overs.
Chris Gayle finished wicketless, conceding 27 runs in his 4 overs but more than made up for it with his batting. He barely took time to settle in, raining big hits all over the ground while his opening partner, Pakistani batsman Ahmed Shehzad could only watch at the other end.
A Sylhet Royals attack containing the likes of Brad Hogg, Scott Styris, Sohail Tanvir, Rubel Hossain, Peter Trego and Alok Kapali could do nothing to stop the barrage as Gayle brought up his 50 off just 26 balls with five 4s and four 6s.
Ahmed Shehzad reached his fifty at the other end off 32 balls but Gayle was very close to his 100 by then. Gayle took just 18 more balls to bring up his second fifty, off the 44th ball he faced, his fastest T20 ton. He ended with seven 4s and a whopping ten 6s in his innings, 88 of his 101 runs coming in boundaries.
The Barisal Burners brought up their win in just 13.4 overs, going at a massive run rate of 12.67 per over.