Biratnagar, Bhairahawa win in EPL

Published On: December 21, 2017 03:00 AM NPT By: ABHISHEK SUBEDI

KATHMANDU, Dec 21:  Biratnagar Warriors registered its second consecutive win in the second edition of the Everest Premier League (EPL) on Wednesday beating Pokhara Rhinos by three wickets. 

At the TU Cricket Ground, Kirtipur, Biratnagar Warriors won the toss and opted to field first before getting a target of 122 runs in the allotted 20 overs. 
Rajesh Pulami scored the highest 30 runs for Pokhara off 35 balls which included two boundaries and a six while Pakistani Israrullah hit 21 runs off 16 balls including three boundaries and a six. 

Likewise, opener Sunil Dhamala and Taj Wali hit 18 runs each, while unbeaten Saurav Khanal added 16 runs for Pokhara. Captain Shakti Gauchan and Binod Bhandari added five and four runs respectively for Pokhara. 

Biratnagar skipper Paras Khadka, who took a wicket in a win against Lalitpur Patriots on Tuesday, pocketed three wickets against Pokhara. Ramnaresh Giri, Basant Regmi and Avinash Karn added a wicket each for the winning side. 

In reply, Hong Kong batsman and man-of-the-match Anshuman Rath helped Biratanagar chase the target in 19.4 overs scoring the highest 60 runs off 61 balls which included six boundaries and two sixes and made the chase easier while another Hong Kong batsman Babar Hayat contributed 22 runs off 19 balls comprising three boundaries for the winning team. 

Likewise, captain Khadka and Pranit Thapa Magar added 11 and nine runs respectively. 
Sushan Bhari and Israrullah pocketed two wickets each while Gauchan and Dhamala took a wicket each for Pokhara. 

“I am delighted to contribute in the win for my team and I hope I can improve in the coming games,'' Rath said, “Standard of cricket in Nepal is improving and that was a pretty tight match.'' 

In the second match of the day, Bhairahawa Gladiators defeated Kathmandu Kings XI by seven wickets to secure its first victory in the competition. 
Kathmandu won the toss and elected to bat first and gave a target of 119 runs losing eight wickets in the allotted 20 overs. 

Kathmandu's captain Farveez Maharoof could not inspire his team to victory in two matches in the tournament as he made just seven runs in three balls. Amit Shrestha scored the highest 29 runs off 32 balls which included four boundaries while Sagar Kumar hit 28 runs off 25 balls including two boundaries. Likewise, Sagar Pun added 15 runs off 21 balls while Akshu Fernando and Amar Routela contributed three runs each for the losing side. 

Dipesh Shrestha pocketed three wickets for Bhairahawa while captain Sharad Vesawkar picked up two wickets for the winning side, including a wicket of Shrestha who was caught by Harishankar Shah. Aarif Sheikh and Indian recruit Puneet Mehra nicked a wicket each. 

In reply, another Indian player Puneet Bisht and man-of-the-match Vesawkar completed the run chase with 22 balls to spare. 

Unbeaten Bisht scored the highest 42 runs off 28 balls which included six boundaries while Vesawkar supported him by hitting 32 runs off 31 balls comprising of two boundaries and a six. Likewise, Sheikh contributed 23 runs off 11 balls while Shah added 14 runs with Pradeep Singh Airee going out for just two runs. 

Sompal Kami, Routela and Sushil Kandel picked up a wicket each for Kathmandu. 
''We played really well with tight bowling and having a good squad of experienced and young players helped in the chase,'' Vesawkar said, adding, ''Puneet is a very good player and he played very well. His experience helped us a lot. The team is in good shape and I hope we can keep on winning games.'' 

Lalitpur Patriots will face Bhairahawa Gladiators on Thursday, while Chitwan Tigers will take on Kathmandu Kings XI on the same day with both the teams looking for their first win of the tournament. 

Biratnagar is atop the standings with four points from two games while Bhairahawa Gladiators is second with two points. Likewise, Lalitpur Patriots and Pokhara Rhinos are third and fourth respectively on two points from two matches while Chitwan Tigers and Kathmandu Kings XI remain on fifth and sixth positions as they are still to register a single point.

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