Sagar Pun of Butwal Blasters bats during a Pokhara Premier League T20 cricket match against Pokhara Paltan at the Rangshaala Cricket Ground in Pokhara on Sunday. Photo: Umesh Pun
POKHARA, Oct 29: United Arab Emirates (UAE) captain and Butwal Blasters overseas recruit Rohan Mustafa was standout player on day three of Pokhara Premier League (PPL) as his team continued the defending spree limiting home team Pokhara Paltan for 117 runs in 20 overs registering a 33-run victory, in Pokhara on Sunday.
Blasters batted first after winning the toss and made 15 runs more than the last match before bowling effectively to defend another low score in an inspired performance on its second match of the tournament.
Mustafa scored 45 runs at number three, including three boundaries and two sixes, before picking up two wickets to seal the match for Blasters.
Captain Sompal Kami, left-arm pacer Lalit Bhandari and left-arm spinner Bipin Khatri also chipped in with two wickets each to limit Paltan. Nepal’s national U-19 captain Aasif Shiekh was top scorer for Paltan with 20 runs including four boundaries during his 15-ball stay.
The match was effectively in Blasters’ grasp when skipper Kami clean bowled his counterpart Sharad Vesawkar for 19 runs. Sagar Pun, Blasters’ allrounder, contributed with ball picking up the most important wicket of Indian first-class batsman Ravi Inder Singh and conceding 15 runs from his four overs in a miserly spell of bowling during the middle overs.
Earlier, Bhim Sarki starred with the bat scoring his first fifty in Nepali franchise T20 cricket scoring 54 runs in 46 balls which included two fours and three glorious sixes. Similarly, Kami gave the much needed boost to the total with his quick-fire 22 runs from 8 deliveries which included a picture-perfect cover-drive off UAE bowler Mohammad Naveed’s bowling.
Naveed was pick of the bowlers for Paltan registering a three-wicket-haul in his four overs conceding 20 runs. Mehboob Alam, Sharad Vesawkar and Lalit Rajbanshi picked up a wicket each in the match.
Player-of-the-match Mustafa was happy to be able to perform in new Nepali cricket city of Pokhara after doing well in Dhangadhi last time he came to Nepal.
“I feel very proud and happy to be able to perform in front of passionate Nepali fans. It gives me immense pleasure and I will like to continue impressing,” said Mustafa after the match.
Blasters had won its first match against Chitwan Rhinos by 78 runs. Blasters now have two rest days on Monday and Tuesday followed by a match against Sandeep Lamichhane’s Biratnagar Titans on Wednesday. Likewise, Paltan faces Chitwan Rhinos on Monday in the afternoon match.
English allrounder Trego powers Blues to first win
The Somerset allrounder Peter Trego starred with the bat scoring his first fifty in the Nepali soil as Expert Dhnagadhi Blues won convincingly against Sandeep Lamichhane-led Biratnagar Titans at Pokhara Premier League (PPL) in Pokhara on Sunday.
Trego smashed 53 runs from 38 deliveries including three boundaries and four sixes to propel Blues to 78-run first win of the tournament.
Saurav Khanal played an important cameo down the order as he smashed unbeaten 41 runs from 13 deliveries including two boundaries and five sixes as Blues scored a total of 182 runs getting all out in the last ball of the innings. Similarly, Blues skipper Dipendra Singh Airee scored 29 runs from 19 deliveries including four boundaries and a six.
Titans were bundled out for 104 runs in the 17th over as another English recruit Dan Lawrence was pick of the bowlers with his three wicket haul. The Essex allrounder conceded 17 runs from his full quota of four overs. Lawrence picked up the important wickets of Raju Rijal, Rajesh Pulami Magar and Titan’s foreign batsman Andrew Subhikshan’s wickets. Likewise, Skipper Airee picked up two wickets and Robin Chhetri, Kamal Singh Airee and Trego chipped in with a wicket each.
Earlier, Titans won the toss and elected to field first. Jitendra Mukhiya picked four wickets but was expensive in his four overs conceding 49 runs. Similarly, Lamichhane, Subhikshan, Kishire Mahato and another Indian batsman Mohammad Zaid Alam chipped with a wicket each.
Biratnagar Titans have now lost two matches whereas Blues won its first match after losing inaugural match against Kathmandu Royals on Saturday. Blues next face Chitwan Rhinos on Wednesday whereas Titans face Butwal Blasters on same day.