Pakistani young sensation Hasan Ali’s brilliant limited-overs form continued in the BPL as he picked up 16 wickets at an average of 15 in nine matches. Donning Comilla Victorians’ colours, the 23-year-old peaked in the T20 tournament when he picked up his first-ever five-wicket haul of the format against Dhaka Dynamites . What made his maiden five-fer even more special was the fact that he knocked over the stumps of his all five victims.
The second qualifier between Rangpur Riders and Comilla Victorians was pushed to the reserve day after its first seven overs as rain refused to go away. The West Indian batsman was batting at 46 off 26 balls overnight and continued from where he had left the next day. He scored 60 on 37 balls to register his first triple-digit score in the shorter-format. His unbeaten 106 proved to be the difference between the two sides as Riders beat Victorians by a margin of 36 runs to qualify for the final.
The #UniverseBoss had struck 19 centuries in T20 cricket before the BPL final. But none of them had come in the final of a T20 tournament. He checked that box on Tuesday when he annihilated Dhaka Dynamites’ bowling attack with his unbeaten 146 off 69 balls , with five 4s and 18 6s. He also broke his previous record of the most sixes - which was 17 - in an innings.
When he was asked whether he considered himself to be the Don Bradman of the T20 format after the knock, Gayle replied: “No, I am actually the greatest batsman of all time.”
Never before Riders had won a BPL title. Their captain Mashrafe Mortaza had, however, bagged the title thrice as captain for Dhaka Gladiators and Comilla Victorians in 2012, 2013, and 2015. The Bangladeshi fast-bowler seems to have cracked the code for getting hold of the BPL trophy and this year he did it for the Riders. Qualifying for the play-offs as the fourth-ranked team in the group-stages, Riders needed to win all three matches in the last round to get hold of the title and they pulled off the needed win in style.