Gayle blasts Dhaka into BPL final
Chris Gayle hit a stupendous ton on Friday at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Dhaka to help his team Dhaka Gladiators beat the Sylhet Royals by 4 runs and enter the final of the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League.
The ferocity of his 114 (51b, 5x4, 12x6) can be gauged by the fact that at one point in the Gladiators innings, Gayle was on 29 off 27b at one point with Dhaka’s score on 87/5 in the 13th over. By the time he was dismissed 36 balls later, the team was on 191/6 and he had scored 85 runs off just 21 balls, going at more than 4 runs per delivery.
Having been put in to bat first, the Gladiators lost Tillakaratne Dilshan off the very first ball of their innings and Mohammad Ashraful in the next over leaving them at 2/1. Shakib al Hasan then crashed a quickfire 38 (21b, 2x4, 4x6) but Sajidul Hasan’s introduction into the attack saw him and Darren Stevens fall off consecutive deliveries in a maiden over. Anamul Haque’s dismissal in the next over saw them slide from 63/2 to 64/5 in the space of 8 deliveries.
Gayle and Kieron Pollard added 12 off the next 3 overs before targeting Paul Stirling in the 13th over. Gayle then launched into Suhrawadi Shuvo, hitting him for a four and three sixes to move from 27 to 55 in the space of 7 deliveries. Pollard’s dismissal in the next over saw him go into overdrive, hitting Stirling once again, taking a six off Mortaza’s next over and thrashing Nazmul Hossain Milon for four consecutive sixes in a 8 ball over. By the end of the over, the 17th off the innings, Gayle was on 100* off 46b, his last 45 runs coming off just 10 deliveries. Sajidul Islam received some more punishment – two sixes before Gayle was done in by a poor pull shot that was caught by Sohag Gazi at deep square leg.
The sequence of the last 21 balls Gayle scored off read: 4, 1, 4, 6, 1, 6, 6, 2, 6, 6, 4, 6, 6, 6, 6, 2, 1, 1, 6, 6 and 1. Besides Gayle’s 62, 56 and 71 run partnerships with Shakib, Pollard and Mashrafe Mortaza for the 3rd, 6th and 7th wicket respectively, the remaining 6 partnerships in the match yielded just 8 runs in the match.
Chris Gayle’s blitz had allowed Dhaka to loot 129 runs off their last overs, taking their score of 63/5 at the halfway mark to a huge total of 197/9.
Contributions from Dwayne Smith (41, 34b, 5x4, 1x6), Mushfiqur Rahim (86, 44b, 6x4, 5x6) and Elton Chigumbura (24, 9b, 3x6) threatened to take Sylhet Royals over the line. With 24 required off the last over, Chigumbura hit two sixes off the first two balls. In complete disarray, Mortaza could not help but bowl short deliveries which were called wide for height before overstepping to give the Royals a freehit. But a terrible mix up between Chigumbura and Rahim saw the latter being run out off the freehit leaving the Royals to get 8 runs off 2 deliveries. The Zimbabwean only managed 2 more runs before holing out off the last delivery, giving the Gladiators a relieved 4 run win.