After a long wait, the storm called Chris Gayle finally arrived in Bangladesh and it completely away Khulna Titans in the just-concluded eliminator. The West Indies star slammed 126 off only 51 balls to light up the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka as Rangpur Riders stormed into the second qualifier.
After being asked to bat first, Nazmul Hossain Shanto gave the Tigers a flying start by smacking three fours in eight balls. However, what followed thereafter became the trend for the rest of the innings. Shanto failed to capitalise on the fine start due to a poor shot off Sohag Gazi’s bowling in the fourth over. Afif Hossain quickly raced away to 11 with the help of a four and a six but was soon castled by Lasith Malinga. Mahmudullah also got the star as he struck two sixes and two fours in his 6-ball 20 before being dismissed. With none of the batsmen managing to convert their starts, Tigers were eventually restricted for 167 for 6.
The score, however, turned out to be a paltry one in the end as Gayle’s onslaught helped Rangpur Riders to chase down the total with 28 balls remaining. The Riders were in a spot of bother after being reduced to 25 for 2 with Sohag Gazi and Brendon McCullum back in the hut. However, Gayle took the onus on himself from thereon and scored a stunning 126 to steer his side home. The stunning knock was studded with 14 sixes and six fours. The Jamaican’s 14 sixes is a new BPL record, beating the previous best of 12 which was also achieved by Gayle for Dhaka Gladiators in 2013.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the knock:
Chris Gayle has hit 10-plus sixes in a T20 innings on whopping 14 occasions. No other batsman has hit 10 more than twice. Head and shoulders above the rest! #Gaylestorm
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) December 8, 2017
Century for Chris Gayle! Just before the IPL auction, coming along. Timing, as they say!
— Nikhil ? (@CricCrazyNIKS) December 8, 2017
Plenty of debate surrounding @henrygayle's form and fitness. Now that he's slamming in those centuries (19 now, in T20 cricket), it's best if we put it to rest and let his bat do the talking! #PlayBold
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) December 8, 2017
Chris Gayle now has
22 ODI Centuries
15 Test Centuries
19 T20 Centuries
Only player to have 15+ Centuries in all three formats!
— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) December 8, 2017
Chris Gayle today
– Became the first person to hit 800 sixes in T20 cricket
– Recorded the highest individual score in a T20 knockout/playoff encounter#BPL2017
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) December 8, 2017
When in-form, no one really comes close to this guy in T20 cricket.
CHRIS GAYLE ?? pic.twitter.com/qQUHUO0HUt
— Aahad (@kiev_13) December 8, 2017
Evin Lewis, Chris lynn may come & go but there’s only one Chris Gayle and he’s the universe boss.
— Pradhyoth (@Pradhyoth1) December 8, 2017