Pokhara Premier League (PPL)
Published On: October 26, 2018 02:30 PM NPT By: Republica | @RepublicaNepal
POKHARA, Oct 27: The Pokhara Premier League’s (PPL) first match was welcomed with open arms among the people of Pokhara as a houseful arena witnessed the home team Pokhara Paltan overcoming the threat of globetrotter Sandeep Lamichhane’s Biratnagar Titans by 58 runs at the Rangshaala Cricket Ground in Pokhara on Friday.
Paltan was sent to bat first after Titans won the toss to utilize any unknown demons of the pitch that has not been used ever before. However, Paltan, collectively, batted well to get 197 runs on board combined with some ordinary bowling and planning from Titans who was limited to 139 runs in 20 overs, in reply.
Opening batsmen Kushal Bhurtel and U-19 captain Aasif Sheikh put up a good partnership of 53 runs in the power-play laying the foundation for the big score. Bhurtel, opening the batting for the second time in T20 match after doing same for CYC Attariya in the Dhangadhi Premier League (DPL), scored a brisk 38 runs including five boundaries and two sixes during his 26-ball stay. His batting partner Sheikh went to register first and a patient half-century of PPL scoring 52 runs in 54 deliveries which included five boundaries and one six.
The real impetus came when the Indian recruit of Paltan Ravi Inder Singh, the Punjab first-class cricketer, smashed 44 runs from 27 deliveries. He smashed two boundaries and four sixes as Paltan was looking good for a commanding total in the first match of the PPL.
The player-of-the-match Binod Bhandari, who recently made his comeback in the national team, pushed the score beyond Titans’ reach smashing unbeaten 41 runs from 11 deliveries which included two boundaries and five sixes. He registered a strike rate of a whopping 372.
Most of the bowlers took the tonking except Lamichhane who finished with the bowling figures of four overs, 26 runs and two wickets. Shahab Alam was the only other wicket-taker of the match as Paltan went on to make 197 runs for the loss of three wickets in 20 overs. The right-arm pace bowler Dipesh Shrestha was the most expensive bowler of the day conceding 54 runs from his full quota of four overs.
In reply, Titans was limited to 139 runs in 20 overs for the loss of eight wickets. Pushpa Thapa and Raju Rijal made 30 runs each which was the highest of the innings.
Lamichhane stayed not out on 14 runs off 15 deliveries. Similarly, Titans’ foreign recruit
Andrew Subikshan made 14 runs with the bat and was wicket-less in his three overs conceding 22 runs.
The winning captain Sarad Vesawkar was all smiles as he admitted to be pleasantly surprised by the way his side batted. “I really didn’t expect us to score more than 190 in the morning,” said Vesawkar after the match.
Sompal Kami-led Butwal Blasters will face Paras Khadka’s Chitwan Rhinos on Saturday, day 2 of the PPL, followed by Kathmandu Royals versus Expert Dhangadhi Blues.
1st Match, Pokhara Premier League in Pokhara
Pokhara Paltan 197/3
A Sheikh 52, R Singh 44, B Bhandari 41*, S Lamichhane 26/2
Biratnagar Titans 139/8 (20 ovs)
R Rijal 30, P Thapa 30, L Rajbanshi 17/3
Paltan won by 58 runs
Player of the Match: Binod Bhandari
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