KATHMANDU, Dec 12: Great bowling and fielding helped Bhairahawa Gladiators survive a Paul Stirling scare to win their second match by 12 runs against Chitwan Tigers in the ongoing Everest Premier League (EPL) at TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Tuesday.
Irish star Stirling gave a whirlwind start to Tigers innings with a 23-ball 38 runs including five fours and two sixes chasing 143 runs but rest of the batsmen failed to capitalize on the start and ended up scoring 131 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 20 overs. Stirling’s fellow Middlesex player John Simpson tried to enforce run-rate at the middle overs hitting two back to back sixes during his 22-ball stay and scoring 26 runs. Dilip Nath (12) and Shahab Alam (16) were other double-digit scorers of the innings.
In an inspired bowling performance, Gladiators skipper Sharad Vesawkar kept changing his bowlers throughout the defense. He had used seven different bowlers by the end of 11 overs. He himself picked up two wickets of Nath and Simpson and enforced a run-out. The pick of the bowlers were Avinash Bohora and Ryan ten Doeschate picking up a wicket each but conceding only 13 and 12 runs in their four-over stay each.
Bohora’s Yorker to dismiss George Scott was arguably the delivery of the day. Similarly, the part time off-spinner Ravi Inder Singh also picked two crucial wickets of Tigers captain Prithu Baskota and vice-captain Dipendra Singh Airee for three runs each from nine and seven deliveries, respectively. Bhuvan Karki was the other wicket-taker of the match for Gladiators dismissing Sandeep Sunar for nine runs off eight deliveries. Bhim Sarki was run-out for duck by Rohit Kumar Paudel.
Earlier, the Dutch international cricketer ten Doeschate scored 35 runs from 25 deliveries which included a four and three sixes after Tigers won the toss and invited Gladiators to bat first. Similarly, the centurion on his EPL debut in the last match, Ravi Inder Singh scored 25 runs from 21 deliveries which included three boundaries and opening batsman Pradeep Airee scored 26 runs from 18 deliveries which included three boundaries and one six to give Gladiators a brisk start.
Tigers’ five different bowlers picked up wickets with Sagar Dhakal with the most with three followed by Scott’s two and a wicket each for Dipendra Singh Airee, Lalit Bhandari and Stirling.
Ryan ten Doeschate was adjudged player-of-the-match. Tigers has now lost three matches in a row, and remains on the bottom two of the league table with no points along with Pokhara Rhinos. Gladiators will next face Biratnagar Warriors on the first match of Day 5 of EPL on Wednesday whereas Tigers will face the same team on Friday.
Karan KC smashed 20 runs in the first super-over of EPL to power Biratnagar Warriors to second consecutive against Pokhara Rhinos in TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Tuesday. KC scored two sixes and completed four doubles along with skipper Paras Khadka during the super-over, the one over eliminator, after both teams were tied on 84 runs during the match.
Paul Coughlin bowled the super-over. Rhinos could only muster 13 runs in the super-over batted by South African Richard Levi and Binod Bhandari against Roelof van der Merwe.
KC, the national cricket team opening bowler, was adjudged player of the match in consecutive days for Warriors.
Earlier, Warriors won the toss and elected to bowl first before restricting Pokhara Rhinos for 84 runs for the loss of seven wickets at the end of first innings. The Dutch fast bowler Paul van Meekeren registered a three-wicket haul which included the three top order wickets of Kyle Coetzer, Shubendu Pandey and Paul Coughlin. Similarly, his fellow Dutch man Roelof van der Merwe registered a brace which included the key wicket of Levi. Basant Regmi and Smit Patel were the other wicket-takers sharing a wicket each. Coughlin top-scored for Rhinos with 20 runs followed by Rajesh Pulami Magar’s 17 runs.
During Warriors’ chase, Rhinos bowler Bipin Khatri removed Paras Khadka for a run to give it a great start. The left-arm spinner registered a three-wicket haul and was the best bowler on display for the day. Susan Bhari, Coughlin and Bikram Sob shared two wickets each.
However, Rhinos were in commanding position to enforce a miraculous win defending the total of 84 runs but wicket-keeper Shubendu Pandey dropped two straight forward catches of Sumit Maharjan and Hari Bahadur Chauhan off Sob for Warriors to escape from a tricky situation and force a tie.
Paul van Meekeren was the last wicket to fell when a run was required to win. Shakti Gauchan picked up a wicket of Aasif Sheikh who top scored for Warriors with 19 runs which included four boundaries.
Rhinos have now lost three matches in a row and the qualification hopes will depend on winning last two matches and few other matches going their way. Warriors will face Bhairahawa Gladiators on Wednesday whereas Rhinos will play Kathmandu Kings XI on Friday.
Shubendhu Pandey charged under ICC Code of Conduct
Shubendhu Pandey, the Pokhara Rhinos wicket-keeper batsman who replaced Sunil Dhamala in the match against Biratnagar Warriors, was seen behaving differently against the on-field umpires after a howler decision given by them.
The Nepalgunj cricketer has been found violating the spirit of the game and code of conduct under International Cricket Council (ICC). He has admitted the level one offense and accepted the imposed sanction of 10 percent of his available match fee and one demerit point.
Pandey was given caught out off the first ball he faced in the match while the replays showed that there was clear daylight between bat and ball during the delivery. Nepali umpires Hiralal Raut and Vinay Kumar Jha were officiating during the match six of the EPL.
Gaurav Tomar banned from bowling
The foreign recruit of Lalitpur Patriots Gaurav Tomar has been banned to further bowl in the tournament after the technical committee of the EPL passed the verdict of the 27-year-old having an illegal bowling action. He was reported twice by the different pair of on-field umpires for his suspected illegal bowling action during the first three matches of Patriots.
The technical committee confirmed the bowling action to be illegal. The Uttar Pradesh List-A player will not be allowed to bowl further for Patriots in the ongoing league. Tomar so far had bowled 12 overs in the league picking up four wickets in two wins out of three matches. Patriots is on top of the league with four points and a positive run rate of 0.7.