Rangpur Riders clinched their maiden BPL title, riding on an unbeaten 69-ball 146 from Chris Gayle, after thrashing defending champion Dhaka Dynamites by 57 runs in the grand finale at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Tuesday.
This is the highest ever individual score in BPL history while the previous best of 126 was made by the same man Friday. With Gayle and Brendon McCullum at the crease till the end, Rangpur managed to post 206 for the loss of only one wicket in their stipulated 20 overs. Dhaka were never comfortable since the start of their innings and finally ended up registering 149 losing nine wickets in their allotted 20 overs.
Jahurul Islam top-scored for Dhaka with a 28-ball 50.
Rangpur’s Isuru Udana, Nazmul Islam and Sohag Gazi took two wickets each.
Discussions in the final few days of BPL 5 were mostly centered around rain and overcast conditions in the capital city. Although the condition was quite fair Tuesday on the occasion of the final between holder Dhaka and Rangpur, the Mirpur crowd still witnessed rain. But this time around, it was raining sixes, courtesy the universe boss Christopher Henry Gayle.
Losing the toss, Rangpur were sent in to bat at a jam-packed SBNCS. And in no time at all, they saw themselves in trouble when Dhaka captain Shakib al Hasan produced a gem of a start for his side with a wicket-maiden in the second over. Shakib took the wicket of the centurion of the last match, Johnson Charles, who made just three. Things could have got even worse if Shakib had held onto a straightforward catch at cover from Gayle when the Jamaican was batting on only 22.
McCullum, who finally got some runs in the last game, joined Gayle and started the rebuilding process. They took their time and set themselves at the crease while the Dhaka spinners were enjoying a good time with the ball. They were 63/1 at the halfway stage.
And there, the turnaround started taking shape. Having started with taking 18 runs from Khaled Ahmed’s 11th over, the juggernaut kept gathering momentum. Gayle went on to hit sixes right till the final ball of Rangpur’s innings. He smashed 18 sixes in total to break the record of most sixes in a BPL match, surpassing his 14 sixes, which came only five days ago in the Eliminator against Khulna Titans.
The duo stayed till the very end and put up a huge target of 206. Gayle finished on 146 off 69 balls while McCullum gave him proper support with 51 from 43 balls. Shakib took the only wicket for Dhaka, finishing his three-over spell conceding 26 runs.
In reply, Mashrafe did the same as Shakib while opening the bowling, giving his team the early strike. He tricked Mehedi Maruf to an LBW dismissal in just the third ball for a duck and finished with a maiden. Sohag Gazi then removed Joe Denly for another duck. From there, Dhaka never seemed in control chasing the huge total.
In the fourth over, Mashrafe took a well-judged catch at the boundary rope to remove Evin Lewis, giving Gazi a second cause for celebration, before Rubel Hossain bagged the wicket of Kieron Pollard in the next over.
Shakib and Jahurul offered some resistance but Nazmul put the last nail in the coffin with his snake celebration when he cleaned up the Dhaka skipper, who attempted a scoop but only in vain. Mosaddek Hossain also went cheaply off the bowling of Ravi Bopara before the snake came out again when Nazmul dismissed Shahid Afridi for just eight, in the process, picking up his second prey.
Udana then joined the party removing Sunil Narine and Jahurul in the same over. The crowd went vociferous when Gayle took the ball for the last over as Dhaka eventually finished their reply on 149/9.
149/9 (Jahurul 50, Nazmul 2/8) lost to Rangpur Riders
206/1 (Gayle 146*, McCullum 51*) by 57 runs