When Imrul Kayes of Sylhet Royals danced down the track to hit the first six over bowler's head to long on region, one's appetite of what BPL offered was whet. And it did offer something ominous: Chris Gayle.
His unapologetic 44-ball 101 at the altar ignited the right amount of pyro needed to give the crowd their money's worth. And it was worth every shilling of around 551 grand that the big man hunked from the auction for Barisal.
But what was most pleasing to the eyes than the sixes which rained like frogs and toads around the stadium was the fact that crowd for a moment savored what it truly feels like to have a player win a match for the team. Bangladeshis who are most often found at the receiving end with shoulders drooping and palm in their faces for the first time were all smiles living vicariously to a victory. And no one can blame them. Crowd who had their fair share of frustrations perhaps may be forgiven for a jubilant burst that was long due.
He wasn't West Indian Chris Gayle that day. He was their Chris Gayle.
A subdued statement of the innings would be Gayle's bowling record. Although he got no wickets, he kept the opponents quiet with a soft, second-most economical 6.75 runs by sliding and bouncing to the leg frustrating Kapali and Kayes more often than not.
Gayle's unbroken partnership of 167 runs with Shehzad -dwarfing the latter's otherwise blistering knock- consisted of 10 sixes and 7 fours. Like an amphibian the man had minimal movement of feet and relied on powerhitting added to perfect hand-eye while striking about 100 meters to the stands at one stage.
Pittiness aside of Gayle's disharmony with WICB, considering he just earned half-a-mil for a month, one can safely conclude he is living to the highest form of celebrity-hood carrying an entire new Gen Y of Bangladeshis to a promised land of hope and...even for a split second: fulfillment.