DHAKA: Chris Gayle’s 19th ton in Twenty20s helped Rangpur Riders canter past Khulna Titans to seal a spot in the second Qualifier of the Bangladesh Premier League at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Friday (December 8). Set 168, Gayle hammered an unbeaten 126 off 51 to shut the door on Titans and force them out of the tournament.
Riders got off to a brisk start courtesy Gayle but were pegged back a bit once Jofra Archer dismissed Sohag Gazi and Brendon McCullum in the third over to leave the side at 25 for 2. However, their joy didn’t last long as Gayle got going and kept toying the bowling attack to propel his side towards a win. Gayle got to his half-century in the seventh over off just 23 balls as he launched Mohammad Irfan over long-on. He continued to make merry and registered his ton off just 45 balls in the 14th over. By then, all hopes Titans had had been diminished by the Gayle onslaught.
Earlier, regular strikes helped Riders keep Titans in check after opting to bowl first. Brief scores: Khulna Titans 167/6 in 20 overs (Ariful Haque 29, Carlos Brathwaite 25*; Lasith Malinga 2-49) lost to Rangpur Riders 171/2 in 15.2 overs (Chris Gayle 126*) by eight wickets.