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6 February, 2019 09:14:59 AM

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Riders rely on Gayle storm

Sports Reporter, Dhaka
Riders rely on Gayle storm
Rangpur Riders prized batsman Chris Gayle hits a boundary during BPL Qualifer-1 game against Comilla Victorians at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital on Monday. BCB photo

West Indies batting stalwart Chris Gayle was the centre of all attention as Dhaka Dynamites take on Rangpur Riders in a bid to seal the spot in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) final.

The match, termed as ‘Qualifier-2’ will be held today at 6.30pm at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

After losing the first qualifier against Comilla Victorians by eight wickets, Rangpur Riders captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is looking forward a Chris Gayle-storm as his side would further give a shot at the final.

Dhaka Dynamites on the other hand comprehensively beat Chittagong Vikings by six wickets to keep them alive in the tournament.

Before winning the last match of group phase and a victory in the Eliminator game against Chittagong Vikings, Dhaka lost five matches out of the six.

If their domination against Chittagong in the last game is taken into the consideration, they would look a team to beat.

Mashrafe probably sensed it after watching Dhaka to hit back with full glory and therefore he wants more from Gayle, considering the game now turns out to be ‘do or die’ clash.

Gayle was the difference between the two teams when Rangpur crushed Dhaka Dynamites by nine wickets in the last year’s final game. Gayle smashed a 66 ball-146 not, the highest ever score in a T20  final game, including a record 18 sixes, to scythe down Dhaka.

Not only that innings of the tournament, Gayle also got his mojo back in the play-off stage in the last year after a slow start.

Rangpur were arguably a weaker side after the departure of AB de Villiers and Alex Hales while Chris Gayle remained just a shadow of his past though he did manage to score a half-century with two 40 plus score.

‘’We probably batted slowly in the first power play it’s not like we lost too many wickets.

Just 36 runs in the first six overs is not enough in this format and that too despite not losing because every team want to en cash the opening six overs in this format,’’ Mashrafe told reporters and indicated that now he is looking forward for the universe boss to deliver.

Riders never looked to got the start they would have liked and placing Rille Rossouw down the order only indicated the defending champions were well aware the absence of Alex Hales and AB de Villiers got over their head.

“We did not have Hales and AB in our line-up so naturally we wanted to make sure we have some depth in our batting and so decided to demoted Rillee down the order while it was also the reason they opted not to chase,’’ said Mashrafe adding that he is not losing confidence from the universe boss.

“I always believe big players delivers on big occasions and there is no doubt Gayle is one of a kind in the entire world. I am sure he will deliver when it matters,’’ he added pointing his performance in the last edition where he raised his tempo in the semi-final and final to repay the faith of the team management after a pretty dismal show in the group phase.

Dynamites coach Khaled Mahmud said that they are aware that Gayle is not scoring enough as he is aware this will make him more determined to blaze on the big occasion.  

“Chris Gayle is not playing well, it is really scary. In the previous final Gayle's hundred brought us behind. Chris Gayle is Chris Gayle. There is no comparison with this. When he hit, or defend it's totally his wish. We should not thing about his batting individually,’’ said Mashrafe.

‘’However, we are still making plan for Chris and it is important to execute the plan. Moreover, they have lots of match winners. They have Riley Russow who is the top run scorer of the tournament. I will say that he is a player who is capable to play in this condition and a game changer,’’ he said.

The winner will take on Victorians in the final at the same venue on February 8.

BK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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