On this day in 2017, the self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle hoisted Rangpur Riders to their maiden Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) title, with his unbeaten 146 leading them to a 57-run win in the final against Dhaka Dynamites in Dhaka. In the process, the West Indies charismatic batter broke his own record, he hit 18 sixes – the most in T20 innings, in his 146 blitzkrieg. The Jamaican legend had earlier smashed 17 maximums during his record-shattering 66-ball 175 not out for Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Pune Warriors in the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Other than surpassing the sixes record, Gayle also ticked what was possibly the only remaining blank box in his T20 campaigns — a century in a tournament final. He also bettered his 126 not out off just 51 deliveries to help his side win the first qualifier against the Khulna Titans four days ago, to register the highest score in the BPL, 146 not out.
The list doesn’t end there as he became the first batter to score five BPL centuries; Gayle also crossed the 11,000 run mark in the shortest format of the game; the first batter to hit 20 hundreds in T20s and first player to smash 100 sixes in the BPL, all in one mayhem of an innings.
Earlier in the match, Dhaka Dynamites elected to field first and struck very early by dismissing Riders opener Johnson Charles cheaply at 3. The rest of the game was just a wait for the visitors to start the party, as Gayle and Brendon McCullum shared an unbeaten 201-run stand to power Rangpur Riders to 206/1. Their unbroken onslaught for the second wicket formed the biggest partnership in the BPL.
Notably, the southpaw was dropped by Shakib Al Hasan on 22, while McCullum also got lucky when he skied Abu Hider’s delivery which the bowler failed to secure despite chasing and diving for it. These two grave errors proved very costly as the Rangers’ batters went into overdrive.
In reply, Dhaka could only muster 149/9 from the allotted 20 overs. The only bright note in their innings was Jahurul Islam’s 50 and Hasan’s 26. The duo added 42 runs for the fifth wicket, but others failed miserably.
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