Lewis slams hundred but Gayle struggles continues

West Indies left-hander Evin Lewis.

CHATTOGRAM, Bangladesh, CMC – Left-hander Evin Lewis lashed a spectacular unbeaten hundred to end his barren run as his Comilla Victorians thrashed West Indies teammate Carlos Brathwaite’s Khulna Titans by 80 runs in the Bangladesh Premier League here yesterday.

Sent in at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Victorians piled up an imposing 237 for five off their 20 overs, with Lewis finishing on 109 not out off 49 balls, to mark his fourth T20 century.

Imrul Kayes chipped in with 39 while Shamsur Rahman got 28 and opener Tamim Iqbal, 25, but it was Lewis who took centre stage in an innings laced with five fours and 10 sixes.

In reply, Brathwaite struck 22 off 13 deliveries and opener Brendan Taylor top-scored with 50 off 33 balls but Titans limped to 157 all out with seven balls left in the innings.

Pakistani seamer Wahab Riaz, who plies his trade in the Caribbean Premier League for Barbados Tridents, bowled brilliantly to take three for 14 while fellow countryman and veteran leg-spinner, Shahid Afridi, ended with three for 27.

Lewis, who had managed only 79 runs from his four previous innings, returned to form in style, adding 58 for the first wicket with Tamim and a further 97 for the third with Imrul.

When three wickets tumbled for 23 runs in the space of 10 balls, Lewis put on a vital 59 in an unbroken sixth wicket stand with Shamsur.

Lewis spent 31 deliveries over his first fifty before racing to three figures off just another 16 balls, reaching his landmark in the final over with a six over long on off new-ball seamer Mohammad Saddam.

In reply, Taylor struck five fours and a six to get Titans off to a grand start, in a 55-run opening stand off 33 balls with Junaid Siddique (27).

But Afridi sliced through the top order to reduce the innings to 116 for four in the 13th over before Brathwaite resisted with a four and a couple of sixes in a cameo knock.

Once Brathwaite holed out in the off-side off seamer Thisara Perera, however, Titans lost their last six wickets for 14 runs in a rapid collapse.

In the other game, Chris Gayle continued to struggle but South African AB de Villiers produced a stunning 50-ball unbeaten 100 to fire Rangpur Riders to a thrilling eight wicket over the star-studded Dhaka Dynamites.

Chasing a challenging 187, Riders were slumping at five for two in the second over, with Gayle removed by a combination of his West Indies teammates – caught at mid-on by Sunil Narine off seamer Andre Russell.

But de Villiers – who smacked eight fours and six sixes – and England’s Alex Hales, who blasted 85 not out from 53 balls, put on an astonishing 184 for the second wicket to put Riders over the line.

Russell finished with two for 30 while off-spinner Narine went wicket-less from his four overs which cost 45 runs.

West Indies limited overs star Kieron Pollard had earlier struck 37 from 23 balls while Narine added 28 as Dynamites, opting to bat first, reached 186 for six off their 20 overs.

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