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On this day in 2017: Chris Gayle’s record-shattering knock sets the BPL on fire

No one is bigger in stature than Chris Gayle in the shortest format of the game. No set of words would ever suffice to describe the unreal exploits of the Caribbean hunk, who leads the charts in every sense when it comes to T20 cricket. Having played a mind-boggling 411 T20 games, Gayle has racked up numbers that only seem a straightforward lie. He has hit a whopping 1001 sixes for his 13584 runs, which have 22 centuries, and no wonder, he stands light years ahead of his contemporaries.

Over these years of his fearless, brutal cricket, Gayle has decimated the finest of the bowlers all around the world in innumerable leagues. Come to the Bangladesh Premier League, Gayle played for Rangpur Riders in the 2017-18 season and won the Player of the Series award for notching up the highest number of runs.

Record-breaking knock

In what was another staggering, record-shattering knock in the BPL on the 12th December 2017, Chris Gayle hoisted Rangpur Riders to their maiden BPL title, through his unbeaten 146 leading them to a 57-run win in the final against Dhaka Dynamites – the defending champions. It made no difference to Gayle if his opposition was branded the favourites ahead of the final, he brought them down to earth by his relentless six-hitting, 21 in all, in front of a jam-packed Mirpur crowd.

En route to his 69-ball 146-run knock, Gayle broke two of his records: smashing 18 sixes to go past the mark of 17 he set during the 2013 IPL when he smacked 175 of just 66 against Pune Warriors India; going past the highest individual score in BPL, set by him through his 126 not out in the first qualifier. With the blinder knock, Gayle named himself the record to score five BPL hundreds.

Much like most of the occasions, Gayle spared no bowler that day as he pummeled everyone who came in front of him. Searching for answers everywhere, the opposition failed in front of the left-right duo of Gayle and McCullum, who eventually stitched an unbeaten stand of 201 runs at Sher-e-Bangla as they set 206 on the board. The final as a contest was over in the fourth over of Dhaka’s reply as all their big-hitters in Evin Lewis, Shakib Al Hasan, and Kieron Pollard were back in the hut with the score reading 29 for 4, after four overs. The rest of the game was, frankly, just a wait for Rangpur to complete the formalities.

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