Crowd baffled by Gayle aerial bombardment in Dhaka

Published: February 11, 2012

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It was Chris Gayle’s sixth Twenty20 century yesterday but for the Bangladesh Premier League, the Jamaican’s aerial bombardment came as a godsend.

The Barisal Burners rode on an hour’s hitting prowess in their 10-wicket win over Sylhet Royals in a poorly-attended opening game of the Twenty20 competition at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Most of the stands remained empty, a result of high-priced tickets as well as a flop opening ceremony the evening before. Apart from the turnout, it was reminiscent of Brendan McCullum’s 158 in the first-ever Indian Premier League match in 2008.

In the evening game, Chittagong Kings beat Duronto Rajshahi by 53 runs in a high-scoring encounter that had a spate of dropped catches.

But the day belonged to Gayle, who left the small crowd baffled by his powerful hitting. Ten sixes and seven boundaries in a 44-ball pounding

Setting of for the 166-run chase, he smacked Rubel Hossain for two consecutive fours to warm up his jet-lagged shoulders.

In the sixth over, Scott Styris became roadkill, giving away 27 runs with Gayle hammering him for two consecutive, straight sixes. After another six off the retired New Zealander, Gayle found the military pace of Peter Trego to his liking, hammering for three huge blows, all over long-on, one higher than the next.

Alok Kapali was given the same treatment, two sixes in his one and only over, before Noor Hossain Munna served up a long-hop that was duly, deposited into the mid-wicket stands; hitting the grandstand roof. “The bowler [Munna] was probably under a bit more pressure. I think that’s what actually happened to get a long-hop,” Gayle said after the game.

“It was good fun to get off to a good start. Came in yesterday, bit jet-lagged, and didn’t get much sleep yesterday. I will sleep like a baby tonight. It’s good to get the team off to a winning start,” he added.

Duronto Rajshahi let themselves down by dropping five chances after Chittagong Kings decided to bat first. Asif Ahmed, Marlon Samuels, Qaiser Abbas, Junaed Siddiqui and Sabbir Rahman dropped catches that ranged from the dolly to the semi-tough chance.

Nasir Jamshed latched on to two lives as he made a 46-ball 56 with the help of three sixes and five boundaries. Kings’ late replacement Jason Roy and skipper Mahmudullah Riyad made 43 runs each as they raced to 206-4 in 20 overs.

Junaed apart (with his enterprising 42), none of the Rajshahi batsmen flourished as left-arm spinner Enamul Haque Jr took three key wickets Junaed, Abdul Razzaq and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim in an excellent performance.

SYLHET: 165-4 in 20 overs (Trego 62, Kapali 56; Arafat 2-33).

BARISAL: 167-0 in 13.1 overs (Gayle 101 not out, Shehzad 56 not out).

Result: Barisal won by ten wickets.

CHITTAGONG: 206-4 in 20 overs (Jamshed 56, Roy 43, Riyad 43 not out; Abbas 1-14).

RAJSHAHI: 153 all out in 19.5 overs (Junaed 42, Sabbir 41 not out; Bravo 3-17, Enamul 3-27).

Result: Chittagong won by 53 runs.

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