Dhaka Gladiators v Sylhet Royals, BPL, Mirpur February 15, 2013

Blazing Gayle fires Dhaka into final


Dhaka Gladiators 197 for 9 (Gayle 114, Sajidul 3-23) beat Sylhet Royals 193 for 6 (Mushfiqur 86) by four runs

Chris Gayle powered to his tenth Twenty20 hundred in Dhaka Gladiators' Race to the Final, but despite the huge target of 197 the Sylhet Royals gave spirited chase, and ultimately fell just short of the 24 runs they needed in the final over. With five runs needed off the last ball, Elton Chigumbura swung Mashrafe Mortaza to deep midwicket, where Darren Stevens held the catch to seal Gladiators' berth in the final of the BPL.

Royals captain Mushfiqur Rahim had batted steadily for most of the chase, keeping his side on par with the Gladiators at the 10th and 15th-over marks. He had an 82-run stand with Dwayne Smith, who made 41, for the third wicket and added 46 runs with Nazmul Hossain Milon.

With 55 to defend in the last four overs, the Gladiators got two good overs from Alfonso Thomas and Shakib Al Hasan. Thomas bowled a good penultimate over to give his captain Mashrafe Mortaza 24 runs to defend in the 20th. He nearly made a mess of it, bowling a crucial no-ball when Anamul Haque had caught Mushfiqur, who was eventually run out off the next ball for 86 off 44 balls. Chigumbura was dropped soon after by Raqibul Hasan at deep square leg but was not able to hit the final ball over the boundary.

The result validated Gladiators' last-minute buy - Gayle. The Jamaican blasted 114 off 51 deliveries, hitting 12 towering sixes. His ninth six was the longest in the tournament at 103 metres and it nearly reached the second tier of the stands behind long-on. It was the third hundred of the season, and the highest so far.

The Royals' fielders stood with hands on hips and necks craned, following the path of those big hits. They had been on top until the 10th over, having reduced the Gladiators to 64 for 5. Tillakaratne Dilshan was out off the first ball of the innings to Sohag Gazi, before Mohammad Ashraful was caught at fine leg off Chigumbura. Shakib Al Hasan blasted 38 off 21 balls with four sixes but he was cleaned up by debutant Sajidul Islam, who then removed Stevens off the next ball. Anamul's dismissal in the ninth over was a major blow, but it just opened up the arena to two of the biggest hitters in the field.

The Gayle-Kieron Pollard partnership played out two quiet overs, but the pair got going in the 14th over, taking 24 off Suharwadi Shuvo. Gayle scored 23 of those, striking three sixes and a boundary. He smashed Nazmul Hossain Milon for 29 runs in the 17th over, and took 16 off Sajidul in the next, also bringing up his century. He soon got out, and the Gladiators' tail couldn't take the total past the 200-run mark.

The result meant the Royals will have to face the winner of the knockout match between Chittagong Kings and Duronto Rajshahi.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hunter on February 17, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    However Sylhet wins the heart of Dhaka!!

  • Shoaib on February 16, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Chris Gayle was made for T20 Cricket.

  • Sami on February 16, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    Good young talent of BPL 2 who can potentially play for the national team - Narul, Milon, Shamsur, Taskin etc

    @derherp - He failed in all 11 innings against Bangladesh end of last year :P

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    I thought that Mushfiqur Rahim's innings of 86 was far better than Chris Gayle's 114,because Mushfiqur was facing far better bowling attack then Gayle and had to sacrifice his wicket.Chris Gayle played a tremendous of innings,but bulk of his runs was scored against the three part-time bowlers.

    Most people are commenting that Sylhet Royal lost the game due to Milon coming ahead of Elton which could be true,but to me the game was lost because the Royals did not have the fifth specialist bowler.Facts and figures prove that.

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Sylhet will win the FINAL obviously inshallah!

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    i thnk hossain milon ahead of elton was the game turner

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    Honestly speaking, This time I enjoyed BPL more due to the absence of Pakistani players.Also some quality foreign players got chance to play BPL.

  • State drive on February 16, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Mushi I'm very sorry for u. Cricket sometimes mysterious to u as last day as Asia cup final also. But u r the hero of our Bangali heart. Don't be upset it is just a match u loose. We got from u a lot of things. I believe once upon a time you get the world cup & ur all feelings come into act. U have great heart of cricket thats why I believe u can do it.

  • rubel on February 16, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    what a match.. hats off to mushfique... i think behind the success of this royal team he is the main person...... GAYLE showed how to entertain the crowd(with his muscle power) MUSHFIQUE showed how u can win without actually wining the match(by his heart)....... i am a DHAKA supporter , & i was in the stadium... every six's of Gayle made us crazy but when sylhet was batting (MUSHI) all the people at the stadium can't hold their tear...he entertained all of us by making us cry & that me & us will never forget......

  • rakibul on February 16, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    a bad decision mushy to bring inexperienced milon against gayle.