Chitwan Tigers open EPL with victorySompal Kami-led side edge Biratnagar by two wickets while Pokhara-Bhairahawa clash was washed out.
Chitwan Tigers made a winning start to their Everest Premier League twenty20 cricket tournament campaign as Pokhara Rhinos and Bhairahawa Gladiators shared points after the match was washed out at the TU ground in Kirtipur on Sunday.
Chitwan captained by Sompal Kami edged Karan KC's Biratnagar Warriors by two wickets in the early kickoff. The other match between the Pokhara Rhino's and Bhairahawa Gladiators was called off in the 11th over due to heavy rainfall, forcing them to share a point each. Batting first, Pokhara Rhinos were struggling at 65-7 before the play was stopped.
In the opening game, put into bat first Biratnagar Warriors posted a challenging total of 151-9 after Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza scored a half century. In reply, Rajesh Pulami Magar hit a boundary in the last delivery of the innings for Chitwan Tigers as they made 155-8.
Biratnagar made a shaky start to their innings and they lost three wickets for nine runs by second over including openers —Chandrapaul Hemraj, Aasif Sheikh and Rayyan Pathan. But Anil Sah and Raza came to their rescue.
Raza cracked 67 runs from 47 deliveries and Sah hit 32 runs off 31. The duo played a 61-run partnership for four wickets before Sah was bowled by Sagar Dhakal in the fifth ball of the 11th over. He hit three fours and a six. Dhakal also trapped Sumit Maharjan leg before in the following delivery.
Raza smashed two fences and seven sixes in his 47-ball knock before being caught by Bhim Sharki off Kamal Airee in the 18th over. Saurav Khanal was the other major contributor for Biratnagar, scoring 30 runs from 19 deliveries. He hit three fences and two sixes. Captain KC was caught for just one run.
Chitwan bowlers Kami, Airee, Karim Janat and Dhakal bagged two wickets apiece while Shahab Alam got one. Airee was the most economical bowler conceding 19 runs in his four-over spell while Kami gave away 34 runs and Janat 32 runs. Kami and Janat both hurled four overs each.
Chasing the target, a collective batting effort guided Chitwan to victory, though they also lost wickets in regular intervals. Middle order batter Rajesh Pulami contributed unbeaten 43 runs while Sarki scored 30 runs. Similarly, Dilip Nath, Janat and opener Ishan Pandey added 23, 19 and 10 runs respectively. An extra 15 runs also helped Chitwan reach their target.
Pulami hit two boundaries and sixes each in the 39-ball knock. Sharki smashed five fours and a six in his quickfire knock off 11 balls. Nath hit a four and two sixes facing 21 deliveries before being dismissed.
Zimbabwe's 35-year-old Raza and skipper KC grabbed two wickets apiece while Pratis GC, Anil Kharel and Pathan pocketed one each. Raza gave away 34 runs in his four-over bowling and KC conceded 30 runs in his four-over hurl.
There will be two matches on Monday with Biratnagar taking on Kathmandu Kings XI in the early kickoff while Bhairahawa will lock horns with Chitwan in the next game.