It was raining sixes in Dhaka on Tuesday. When Rangpur Riders took on Dhaka Dynamites at Bangladesh Premier League, it turned into a Gayle storm on the field. The explosive West Indies batsman took the bowlers to the cleaners. With the help of record-breaking 18 sixes and 5 fours, Gayle scored 146* in just 69 balls and took Riders to a total of 206/1 in 20 overs. Dynamites failed to chase the mammoth target and saw their rivals lifting the trophy.
Speaking on his batting effort, the left-hand batsman said the innings was special as it helped in the winning cause. “It is a big game, a big occasion to actually stand out and get a century in a final. You actually look back and say well done. You tap yourself on the back. It is a winning effort as well, which makes it more special for me,” the 38-year old said.
Gayle further went on to say that it was one of the best T20 innings of his career for him. “So I am glad that we came out on top. I would put it in the top five [among T20 centuries], certainly for the occasion as well. I will have to reflect where this takes place. It is right up there,” he said.
The West Indies batsman stressed it was important for him to stick it out in the field after losing Johnson Charles early. “They (Dhaka Dynamitess) started well. We lost Charles a bit early. We had to give ourselves a chance to bat as deep as possible. It was important for one of us to bat right through the innings. It actually set the momentum for us,” he said.
Gayle played out the remaining overs with Brendon Mccullum as the duo went on to add 201 runs to the total after Charles wicket. Talking about the unbroken partnership, the batsman said, “Turning over the strike was always going to be important. I thought we did a fantastic job – myself and McCullum. We worked out what to do in the middle, which bowler to take down, and when,” he said.
He further added that he was happy the two batsmen performed when it mattered the most. “When we arrived in Bangladesh, everyone was so excited to see Gayle and McCullum. It didn’t happen early on in the tournament, but I am glad it happened when it mattered. It is not about trying to outdo each other. The communication and understanding was very good,” Gayle said.