Kathmandu Golden Warriors' Gyanendra Malla celebrates with teammate Jaikishan Kolsawala after scoring a century during their Pokhara Premier League T20 cricket match against Expert Dhangadhi Blues at the Pokhara Stadium’s cricket ground in Pokhara on Wednesday.
Malla smashes 37-ball century in Warriors' first win
POKHARA, Dec 19: Indian all-rounder Punit Mehra smashed an unbeaten half-century and picked up a wicket to inspire Biratnagar Titans to its first win of the Namaste Pokhara Premier League (PPL) against defending champion Pokhara Paltan at the Pokhara Cricket Stadium’s cricket ground in Pokhara on Wednesday.
Paltan was bundled out for 100 runs chasing a target of 146 put up by Titans to concede its second defeat in a row. Paltan earlier lost the match against Chitwan Rhinos on Tuesday whereas Titans notched its first win after losing against Expert Dhangadhi Blues by five runs in the first match.
Rohit Kumar Paudel and Kushal Bhurtel scored 32 and 24 runs respectively but failed to get any support from the other end as Paltan eventually folded out in 19.5 overs.
Captain Sharad Vesawkar, Kushal Malla, and Indian batsman Ravi Inder Singh were all dismissed for ducks.
Kishore Mahato for Titans picked up three wickets whereas Jeetendra Mukhiya and Pakistan all-rounder shared two wickets each.
Similarly, Mehra, Pakistan bowler Noman Khan and left-arm spinner chipped in with a wicket each.
Earlier, Paltan won the toss and invited Titans to bat first. Titans innings got a good start with 50 runs on board without any loss at the end of 8 overs.
Sunil Dhamala and Zaid Alam contributed 36 and 26 runs respectively.
However, the innings was at trouble at 76 runs for the loss of five wickets.
Mehra, then, took control of the match helping Titans collect 69 runs in last five overs.
Mehra smashed four sixes and five boundaries during his 26-ball unbeaten 61 runs. He shared the partnership with Raju Rijal who chipped in with a run-a-ball unbeaten 9 runs.
Paltan’s Indian bowler Prathamesh Dake and Rashid Khan were expensive in their respective overs conceding 43 and 40 runs respectively.
Vesawkar picked up a brace whereas Sarabjit Ladda and Kushal Malla shared a wicket each.
Paltan will next face Butwal Blasters in an important match on Friday whereas Titans will face Kathmandu Golden Warriors on Saturday.
In another match, Nepal national cricket team captain Gyanendra Malla amassed first century of T20 franchise domestic leagues to propel Kathmandu Golden Warriors for a 106-run win over Expert Dhangadhi Blues.
The match was reduced to 17 overs per side after overcast conditions delaying the proceedings.
The outfield was wet due to overnight dew.
Player-of-the-match Malla smashed eight boundaries and nine sixes in his 37-ball century to help Warriors put up 185 runs in 17 overs before dismissing Blues for 79 runs in 16 overs.
Blues won the toss and invited Warriors to bat first.
The partnership of 51 runs between Amit Shrestha, who replaced Subash Khakurel in the playing XI, and Jaikishan Kolsawala helped Warriors set up an early platform after losing Gaurav Tomar for a duck.
Shrestha’s 21-ball 34 runs was the ice-breaker that inspired Warriors to play their shots in overcast conditions at the ground.
Similarly, Kolsawala contributed 46 runs holding an end together off 37 deliveries which included four boundaries and two sixes.
Kamal Singh Airee picked up four wickets, three of which came in the last over of the innings. He bowled four overs conceding 37 runs.
Sagar Dhakal was the only other wicket-taker of the innings, who conceded 19 runs off three overs.
Amit Yadav, Bikram Thagunna, Captain Dipendra Singh Airee and Anil Kharel were wicket-less in their respective overs in the match.
Later, Basant Regmi led the bowling charts for Warriors, scalping three wickets of Rodrigo Thomas, captain Dipendra, and Amit Yadav.
Likewise, Subodh Bhati and Pawan Sarraf shared two wickets each.
Similarly, Amrit Bhattarai and Susan Bhari shared a wicket each to help bundle-out Blues for 79 runs.
Canadian opening batsman Srimantha Wijeyratne top-scored for Blues with 15 runs off 12 deliveries whereas Thomas was the only other batsman who reached double-digit with 10 runs.
Blues had won the match against Biratnagar Titans by five runs. It will face Chitwan Rhinos on Friday.
Rhinos had defeated Pokhara Paltan in its first match on Tuesday.
Warriors will face Titans in another must-win match on Saturday. Warriors had lost against Butwal Blasters and Pokhara Paltan.