Chitwan Rhinos' Rohan Mustafa bats during the Pokhara Premier League T20 cricket match against Kathmandu Golden Warriors at the Pokhara Stadium's cricket ground in Pokhara on Tuesday. Photo: Umesh Pun/Republica
POKHARA, Dec 25: Kathmandu Golden Warriors will sweat on the result in the final group match between Butwal Blasters and Biratnagar Titans, on Wednesday, after suffering 60-run defeat against Chitwan Rhinos during its final Namaste Pokhara Premier League (PPL) group match played at Pokhara Stadium’s cricket ground in Pokhara on Tuesday.
Warrior’s net run-rate was dented further after being restricted to 107 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 20 overs chasing the total of 167. The net run-rate, at 0.39, is still better than Titans’ -0.175. However, if Titans can defeat Blasters with a run margin of 50+ while defending or within 13 overs while chasing, it can upset Warriors and secure a playoff place against the same final opponent, Blasters, on Thursday. Anything less than that, Warriors and Blasters will meet again in the Eliminator match after playing a tie during the group stage. Blasters had won the match in super-over.
Skipper Gyanendra Malla was left stranded on 40 runs off 39 deliveries which included three fours and two sixes as he lacked support from the other end. Pawan Sarraf’s 19-ball 27 runs, which included four boundaries and a six, cameo could only help Warriors cross the 100 runs mark. Prithu Baskota could muster 18 runs off 23 deliveries as none of the other batsmen were able to reach double digit scores.
Sunny Patel continued his devastating form with the ball scalping another three wickets on the day. He conceded 19 runs off four overs including a maiden over. Likewise, Rohan Mustafa picked up a brace off his four overs conceding 12 runs. Similarly, captain Paras Khadka, Ram Naresh Giri, Bhuvan Karki and Karan KC shared a wicket each.
Earlier, Warriors won the toss and elected to bowl first. Player-of-the-match for his all-round performance Mustafa carried his bat through the innings scoring 59 off 52 deliveries which included six boundaries and a six. Karan KC who was promoted to open the innings was dismissed for a run off six deliveries. Former Hong Kong batsman Babar Hayat smashed 70 runs off 47 deliveries which included three boundaries and six maximums. Likewise, Aarif Sheikh and Sunny Patel scored 15 runs each from nine and eight deliveries respectively to take the final total to 167 runs in 20 overs for the loss of four wickets.
For Warriors, Susan Bhari, Basant Regmi and Amar Singh Routel shared a wicket each. The replacement player for Subodh Bhati, who went back to India due to personal reasons, Dipesh Bhandari conceded 48 runs off his four overs, Similarly, Pawan Sarraf and Amrit Bhattarai were wicket-less in their respective two and three overs in the match.
Rhinos has won all its five group matches and has qualified for the final on Saturday. Butwal Blasters, which has confirmed its place in Eliminator, will face Biratnagar Titans, which has an outside chance to upset Warriors and book a place in the Eliminator, in the final group match on Wednesday.