DHAKA, Dec 8, 2017 (BSS)- Opener Chris Gayle blasted a match-winning unconquered century as Mashrafe Mortaza led Rangpur Riders ensured their second qualifiers spot with an overwhelming eight-wicket victory over Khulna Titans in the eliminator match of AKS Bangladesh Premier League (BPL)T20 held on Friday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium at Mirpur.
Rangpur Riders will play the second qualifier against Comilla Victorians or Dhaka Dynamites on Sunday (December 10) at the same venue.
The left-handed smashed an unbeaten 51-ball off 126-run as Rangpur easily chase down the target making 171 in 15.2 overs with eight wickets in hand.
It was the first century in this season’s BPL so far and the fourth century by the explosive opener Gayle in the BPL tournament.
The big hitting batsman Gayle who took only 45-ball to complete the century, smashed 14 massive sixes and six fours. During the process, he shared an unbeaten 146-run second wicket stand with Mohammad Mithun who provided an ample support to chase the total.
Mithun made 30-runs off 36-ball laced with three boundaries to confirm Rangpur’s victory to remain unbeaten till the end of the innings, after Rangpur made a shaky start losing their two top batsmen early.
Jofra Chioke Archer bagged two Rangpur’s wickets conceding 30 runs.
Gayle of Rangpur Riders was named the player of the match for his entertaining innings.
Earlier, a late surge by Carlos Brathwaite saw Khulna Titans scored competitive total of 167 for 6 from their allotted 20 overs, after they were forced to bat first by Rangpur Riders.
Carlos smashed an unbeaten 9-ball off 25-run studded with three boundaries and over boundary while and Nicholas Pooran played handy 22-ball off 28 before he was trapped leg before wicket by Lasith Malinga’s delivery, after Khulna Titans slipped to 4 for 84 runs in 11.4 overs.
Opener Nazmul Hossain Shanto (15) gave a return catch to Sohag Gazi while Micheal Klinger (21) fell to Ravi Bopara.
Ariful Haque top scored of Khulna’s innings as the middle order batsman contributed an useful knock of 29-run off 30-ball hitting three boundaries before he perished to Rubel Hossain while skipper Mahmudullah blasted 6-ball off 20-run, an innings that studded with two boundaries and two towering sixes before he fell to Nazmul Hossain.
Pacer Lasith Malinga was the most successful bowler as he claimed two Khulna’s wickets conceding 49 runs.