||CF Correspondent ||
Despite a typical aggressive knock from Caribbean stalwart Chris Gayle, Chattogram Challengers was held back to a mediocre 164-9 against Rajshahi Royals in the second Qualifier game of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
The winner of the game would seal the final of BBPL. But in what turned out to be a virtual semifinal, Chattogram couldn’t make their total daunting despite a marauding 24 ball-60 from Chris Gayle.
After being sent to bat first, Chattogram made a whirlwind start, thanks to Gayle, who after three poor innings by his standard in the last three matches, flourished with full glory.
Popularly dubbed as ‘Universal Boss’, Gayle made his intention clear from the first ball and brought up his half-century off just 21 deliveries amid the wickets tumbling around him.
His fellow opener Ziaur Rahman could make just 6, after troubled by Mohammad Irfan while inform Imrul Kayes added 5.
After reaching half-century, Gayle looked more threatening but was undone by a straight delivery of Afif Hossain against the play to be dismissed for 60 off 24 in which he struck six fours and five sixes.
Captain Mahmudullah seemed to have amended the loss of Gayle, playing his shots at will around the park. However one shot too many caused his downfall as Mohammad Nazwaz removed him for 18 ball-33 that included three fours and three sixes.
Thanks to Gayle and Mahmudullah, Chattogram kept their run-rate 10 per over from the beginning.
But Nawaz hampered the proceedings, forcing them to struggle for runs after the departure of the duo.
To their dismay, Chattogram succumbed to the pressure and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Asela Gunaratne then hit 31 off 25 with one four and two sixes to help Chattogram make their total some sort of decent.
Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz returned figures of two wickets apiece.