Unbeaten Rhinos march to final, Chhetri half-century lifts Kat QueensBiratnagar Titans and Queens play the qualifier, ousted Falcons and Paltan clash in the dead rubber.
Chitwan Rhinos are in the final of the Women's Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament after crushing Biratnagar Titans by 53 runs to wrap up their group stage maintaining cent percent winning streak at Tribhuvan University ground in Kirtipur on Sunday.
Rhinos were off to a flying start to their innings as openers Kajal Shrestha and Kanchan Shrestha played 69-run opening stand before they posted 1228-8 in the 20 overs. Kanchan, who scored 34 off 41 balls, was run out in the last ball of the 12th over. Kajal contributed 36 runs off 46 deliveries before she was stumped by Jyoti Pandey off Aarati Bidari. Captain Indu Barma remained unbeaten with 17 runs from 15 balls but Rhinos lost wickets on regular intervals. Suman Khatiwada, 10 runs, was the only other batter to reach the double-digit figure. She was bowled by Sonu Khadka in the fifth ball of the 16th over as Rhinos wrapped up with 122-8. Rhinos were also gifted with 17 extras.
In reply, Biratnagar Titans were bowled out for a paltry 69 runs in 17.5 overs. Pandey and Dolly Bhatta scored identical 21 runs as other batters bitterly failed in overcoming the wrath of Rhinos bowlers. Kabita Gautam of Rhinos came up with a decent blowing figure claiming three wickets in her three-over spell conceding five runs. Khatiwada had two scalps in her four-over spell.
Despite the defeat, Biratnagar Titans secured a place for the qualifier stage finishing in third place with four points, two behind the second-placed Kat Queens Kathmandu, who they will clash against at the qualifier on Tuesday. Rhinos directly secured a place for the final by virtue of finishing on top of the table with eight points from four matches. Pokhara Paltan Women and Lalitpur Falcons, who are yet to open their account in the standings and are yet to face each other, will play on Monday.
Earlier in the day, captain Rubina Chhetri played yet another captain's innings as Kat Queens Kathmandu secured their qualifier berth after crushing the struggling Lalitpur Falcons by eight wickets. Queens made easy work of Falcons as they chased the target of 106 runs with 16 balls to spare. In quite a sharp contrast of fates, Falcons have now crashed out of the tournament.
Opener Chhetri, who remained unbeaten on 59, smashed one six and hit the fences in nine occasions. It was her second half-century at the ongoing tournament as she had amassed 83 runs while remaining unbeaten against Pokhara Paltan. Her opening partner Rashmi Chaulagain was sent back to the pavilion with nine runs in the first ball of the seventh over. Roma Thapa contributed 18 runs while Apsari Begam remained not out on seven.
Falcons clearly have a lot of soul searching to do as they seem to be lacking in all departments. Poor fielding in specific simply has been a liability for them throughout the tournament.
Earlier, Lalitpur Falcons had won the toss and elected to bat first. However, Falcons never really appeared to be posting a challenging total as their opener Roshani Bohara consumed 50 balls to remain unbeaten while scoring only 29 runs. Her partner Gita Gosai made 13 runs before falling victim to a run-out. In another case of chaos in a run, Mamta Chaudhary had to return to the pavilion when she had scored a run-a-ball 15.
Captain Nary Thapa was the third wicket to fall for Falcons as she was caught and bowled by Saraswati Kumari. Thapa had scored 22 from 19 balls with her innings featuring four fours. Karuna Bhandari was clean bowled by Ishwori Bist while Kabita Joshi was stumped by Mamta Thapa off Bist as they posted 105-5.
Pokhara Paltan and Lalitpur Falcons, the two sides without a win in the tournament and already out of it, play for pride in the dead rubber on Monday. Second-placed Kat Queens Kathmandu will go head to head against Biratnagar Titans in the play-off for the final on Tuesday while the grand finale of the tournament is slated for Thursday.