Chris Gayle’s majestic batting, power hitting and brutal display of six smashing enlightened the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Tuesday, and provided entertainment to millions of fans around the world.
Even a die-hard Dhaka Dynamites fan has to admit that Gayle’s 146 off 69 balls is one of the best T20 innings. One should also keep in mind that the gigantic 175-run innings in T20 cricket also came from the bat of Gayle, for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors in the IPL.
It was a masterstroke from the big man, and it came at perhaps the best time for Rangpur Riders, in the grand finale of BPL 2017.
Gayle has rewritten the history book of BPL. Also, he has crossed the 11,000-run landmark in T20s. As expected, he is leading the chart of highest run-scorer in T20 cricket. The second highest belongs to his Rangpur teammate Brendon McCullum, who has scored 8475 runs. One just needs to look at all the records below to assess just how dangerous Gayle is.
Gayle promised to the fans prior to the start of BPL 5 that he would try to entertain the cricket followers, and he duly kept his promise.
“Most of the time I go out to bat my objective is to entertain the fans. They have spent money to want to be entertained. Sometimes I get into trouble by trying to hit too many sixes. When it comes off, it is brilliant and everyone is happy,” said Gayle before the tournament.
And what a way to keep his promise! Two blistering centuries in the knockout stage for his team. The Riders could not have asked for anything better.
And one of the best features of Gayle’s innings Tuesday is that his knock came against a strong bowling line-up comprising Shakib al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Shahid Afridi and Abu Haider Rony, among others.
Just two matches ago, against Khulna Titans in the Eliminator, Gayle smashed his fourth hundred in BPL history with a record 14 sixes. But he was not finished. Not by a mile. In the final, the big hitter blasted his fifth BPL hundred in some style, and this time around, it was more brutal. Gayle broke his own record and smashed 18 sixes, one more than his previous best of 17 for Bangalore four years ago.
“Normally I don’t plan on the number of sixes in a competition. Hopefully I get off to a good start and maybe set the momentum for the tournament,” Gayle said prior to the competition.
Now that the tournament has ended, Gayle finished with 485 runs in 11 innings at an average of 53.88 and a stunning strike rate of 176.36. And how many sixes has the big man hammered? 47! Yes, you read it right. 47 sixers and 29 fours for the big man in BPL 5.
And so, Christopher Henry Gayle, you have indeed entertained the BPL crowd, along with millions of fans around the world.
Gayle in BPL 2017
M Runs HS Ave BF SR 100/50 4/6
11 485 146* 53.88 275 176.36 2/2 29/47
RECORD BREAKING GAYLE
This is Gayle’s 20th T20 century. No one else has more than seven.
Gayle is the first batsman to score 11,000 T20 runs. No one else has more than 9,000.
Gayle struck 18 sixes Tuesday. In the process, he broke his own record of 17 sixes in an innings, which he achieved in the IPL where he made 175 in that particular knock.
Gayle is the first cricketer in the history of BPL to smash 100 sixes or more. His sixes’ count now stands at 107 in 26 innings. Sabbir Rahman is second with 47 sixes from 54 innings.
Gayle has now struck 10 sixes or more in an innings 15 times. No other cricketer has hit 10 sixes or more, more than twice.
Gayle’s knock of 146 is the highest individual score in BPL history. The previous best of 126 against Khulna Titans also belongs to him.
This is the first time anyone has scored a century in the final of five BPL editions.
Gayle has five BPL tons in total. No one else has more than one.
Gayle has crossed 1000 BPL runs in 26 innings, the quickest ever.
In nine previous T20 finals, Gayle had two fifties to his name. He has scored his first century in a T20 final in his 10th attempt.
Gayle put on 201 runs alongside McCullum for the second wicket, the highest BPL partnership for any wicket, let alone for the second wicket. This is also the first 200-run stand in BPL history. The previous best of 197 was added by openers Shahriar Nafees and Lou Vincent in 2013 for Khulna Royal Bengals. So Nafees and Vincent’s partnership is still a record in BPL, albeit only for the opening wicket.
Gayle however, with 485 runs, fell short of recording the highest number of runs in a BPL campaign. The feat belongs to Ahmed Shehzad (486).