DHANGADHI, April 19: Biratnagar Kings’ skipper Sharad Vesawkar said that his team has no pressure ahead of the Dhangadhi Premier League T20 Cricket Tournament’s first qualifier match against league round topper Rupandehi Challengers scheduled for Wednesday.
The winner of the first qualifier match between Biratnagar Kings and Rupandehi Challengers -- the top two finishers of the league round -- will book its place in the final.
Similarly, the losing side will get another chance to enter the final as it will face the winner of the eliminator match between third-placed Kathmandu Goldens and fourth-placed Dhangadhi Team Chauraha to make it to the final.
Meanwhile, the eliminator clash between Basant Regmi-led Kathmandu Goldens and national team skipper Paras Khadka-led Chauraha will also take place on Wednesday. “The overall results of the tournament so far has shown that any team can upset anyone. So I think we can beat our play-off opponent. We are not under any kind of pressure ahead of the clash,” said skipper Vesawkar, who led his team to the second place finish in the league round with six points, registering three wins out of five.
Biratnagar Kings’ opponent Rupandehi Challengers has been playing the tournament in top form given its four consecutive victories save its only defeat at the hands of Paras Khadka-led Dhangadhi Team Chauraha on Monday.
“We didn’t play well in the two league matches where we faced defeat but I think that was the result of bad luck. We have to play up to our potential on Wednesday if we want to beat a strong team like Rupandehi Challengers. We will go in the match with a winning mentality,” added Vesawkar.
In the league round match, Biratnagar Kings had faced 61 runs defeat to veteran Shakti Gauchan-led Rupandehi Challengers.
Biratnagar which was given a target of 132 runs was limited to a total of 71 runs by Rupandehi Challengers which is studded with talented bowlers.
However, the league round topper Rupandehi is expecting Biratnagar to throw a tough fight when they meet again in the qualifier.
“Biratnagar Kings has very talented squad and all the players have been performing quite well throughout the tournament. So both the teams have equal chances of sealing the win,” said Gauchan. “T20 matches area always unpredictable. One who plays better on that particular day will go through to the final. We will enter the pitch with high hopes and try to play up to our mark,” added Gauchan, who guided his team in accumulating eight points from four wins out of five matches.
Biratnagar Kings had started the tournament with 23 runs win over Chauraha before facing 86 runs defeat at the hands of Kathmandu Goldens in the second match. Similarly in the third and fourth matches, it defeated CYC Attariya by eight and five wickets respectively.
Vesawkar said that the unpredictable wicket of the SSP Cricket Ground where the tournament is being held hasn’t helped the batsmen. “Batsmen are failing to judge the pitch which has prevented them to perform consistently,” said Vesawkar, “However given the small size of the ground we can make higher runs.”
Rupandehi Challengers failed to conclude the league round with unbeaten run after facing its only defeat to Chauraha in the last league match. Earlier, Rupandehi Challengers had defeated Kanchanpur Iconic by 14 runs in the first match while it beat CYC by 42 runs in the second match. In the third match it overcame Kathmandu Goldens by 15 runs before defeating Biratnagar Kings by 61 runs in its fourth match.
Speaking about the defeat in the last league round match, Gauchan said, “We did experiment in that match by giving chance to the benched players but that cost us the match. But we will field strong team on Wednesday.”
“Our batting line up hasn’t been able to perform up to the mark until now but if we want to reach the final we must improve it when we take on Biratnagar Kings,” concluded Gauchan.