Rangpur Riders crowned 2017 BPL champions


Sports desk, December 12: Chris Gayle hoisted Rangpur Riders to their maiden BPL title, his unbeaten 146 leading them to a 57-run win in the final against Dhaka Dynamites. Dhaka, the defending champions and favourites ahead of the final, were brought down to earth by relentless six-hitting from Rangpur’s batsmen, 21 in all, in front of a packed Mirpur crowd.

Gayle’s innings ticked what was possibly the only remaining blank box in his T20 checklist – a century in a tournament final. He broke two of his own records, smashing 18 sixes to go past the mark of 17 he set during the 2013 IPL, and going past his 126 not out from the first qualifier, played four days ago, to make the highest score in the BPL, 146 not out. He also became the first batsman to score five BPL hundreds.

The final as a contest was over in the fourth over of Dhaka’s reply when Mashrafe Mortaza, playing his fourth BPL final, ran 25 yards towards the long-on boundary to complete the catch that sent back Evin Lewis. The rest of the game was, frankly, just a wait for Rangpur to start the party, and for their owners to shower gifts on their players.

Gayle and Brendon McCullum, the pair billed as the biggest attraction in this year’s BPL, picked the perfect moment for their combined onslaught. They put on an unbroken 201 for the second wicket, the biggest partnership in the BPL.

Rangpur Riders, under the captaincy of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, beat Dhaka Dynamites by 57 runs on Tuesday to be crowned 2017 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) champions at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur.

Earlier, batting first after losing the toss, Rangpur scored a huge total of 206 for 1 from their allotted 20 overs.

In reply, Dhaka were all out for 149 runs.

Rangpur Riders: 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Brendon McCullum, 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Mashrafe Mortaza, 6 Mohammad Mithun, 7 Nahidul Islam, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Rubel Hossain, 10 Nazmul Islam, 11 Isuru Udana

Dhaka Dynamites: 1 Mehedi Maruf, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Joe Denly, 4 Kieron Pollard, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Jahurul Islam (wk), 10 Abu Hider, 11 Khaled Ahmed