Move over, Chris Gayle. You've had a good run, but your time is clearly up. The Universe has a new Boss. The big Jamaican's unbeaten 116, that he scored for the Barisal Bulls in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), is no longer the highest score in the tournament's history. Sabbir Rehman of the Rajshahi Kings hit a power-packed 61-ball 122 against the Barisal Bulls on Sunday, eclipsing Gayle's long-standing record.
Boundaries flew off Sabbir's bat all evening long at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla Stadium; nine fours and as many sixes were hit as the Kings, chasing Barisal Bulls' first innings total of 192, put up a heady fight. By the time Sabbir was dismissed for 122 in the 16th over, he had already scored over 72 percent of his side's total of 159. After his dismissal, things simply fell apart, however, and the Kings fell short by four runs in the end.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune after the match, Sabbir said he would have preferred scoring a single run in a winning cause than a record-breaking century. "Everything depends on winning for your side. If you score one and that contributes to victory for your team then it is more satisfying than scoring a hundred and losing the game. Winning for the team is the most important thing for me. No matter I score one or 10, I always want to win for the team. I scored 122, but it is a very bad feeling for me that we lost eventually. We should have won the match. We were in a winning position. But unfortunately, we lost,” Sabbir said.
Sabbir, who had made his name in Bangladeshi cricket as a big-hitting lower-order batsman, steadily rose through the ranks and is now a top-order batsman even in Test cricket. But his first love remains the slam bang world of T20s. He told ESPN Cricinfo that the shortest format of the game is his favourite.
"T20 is my game," Sabbir said. "I got into the senior side in 2014 through T20s, and then also into the Test team. I believe it is my format, and I will make a big score, either today or tomorrow. But I am sure someone will break my 61-ball 122."