Namaste Pokhara Premier League
Published On: December 27, 2019 09:30 AM NPT By: Republica | @RepublicaNepal
POKHARA, Dec 27: Biratnagar Titans registered back-to-back wins over Butwal Blasters on Thursday to reach the final of the Namaste Pokhara Premier League (PPL) and set up a summit clash against table topper Chitwan Rhinos.
Despite losing the previous three matches and having squared with Kathmandu Golden Warriors on four but finishing behind it with inferior net run rate, Titans defied the odds to beat the Blasters chasing the target of 134 runs within 12.2 overs to topple the Warriors in the final group stage match on Wednesday and secure an Eliminator spot against the same opponent.
Titans beat Blasters by 21 runs in the Eliminator and will face the last year’s finalist Rhinos on Saturday.
Earlier, Blasters won the toss, elected to field first, and was presented a target of 166 runs as Titans lost five wickets in the allotted 20 overs. In reply, Blasters was all out at 144 runs in 20 overs.
Sunil Dhamala hit the highest 61 runs of the game off 54 balls with two sixes and six fours, while he was supported by not out Pradeep Singh Airee, who played a big cameo performance adding 33 runs off 13 balls with four sixes and a boundary.
Likewise, opener Muhammad Zaid Alam scored 20 runs off 13 deliveries consisting three fours. Also, Lokesh Bam and Puneet Mehra added 19 runs each with Bam hitting two sixes and Mehra scoring two fours. Noman Khan was out on golden duck.
Harsh Tonk was the pick of the Blasters bowlers as he pocketed two wickets in his four-over spell giving away 21 runs, while Lalit Singh Bhandari and Avinash Bohora took a wicket each for the team bowling four overs each.
In reply, Blasters could not start the game on a positive note as it was 94-4 in 10.4 overs.
Bhim Sharki hit the highest runs for Blasters as he scored 44 off 34 balls with two sixes and three fours, while he was supported by opener Aftabuddin Ahmed, who started the innings quite well with 22-ball 43 runs including two sixes and six boundaries.
Likewise, middle-order batsmen Puran BK and Shivam Singh went out on 15 and 14 runs respectively as both the players hit two fours each. All the other batsmen failed to add the double digit score to the Blasters board, while Samsad Sheikh and bowler Bhandari went out for ducks.
It was close to chasing the target with the score 133-6 at one point at the end of the 17th over, but quick wickets of Sheikh and Sompal Kami within 19.1 overs.
Mehra was the pick of the bowlers in the game as he took three wickets giving away 17 runs in three overs. His bowling was exceptional since he took all the wickets in the last over of the match.
Likewise, Shahab Alam pocketed three wickets as well conceding 26 runs in four overs. Also, Kishore Mahato, Jitendra Mukhiya and Muhammad Zaid Alam took a wicket each.
Rhinos were defeated by Pokhara Paltan in the final of last season. The defending champion crashed out managing only one win in five matches.
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