Chitwan Tigers enter qualifiersSompal Kami’s men grab fourth straight win to secure qualifier spot with a match in hand.
Sompal Kami's Chitwan Tigers edged Lalitpur Patriots by five wickets to register fourth win in a row and secure a qualifier spot in the Everest Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament at the TU grounds in Kirtipur.
Pokhara Rhinos and Bhairahawa Gladiators' playoff spots were also confirmed after bottom placed Biratnagar Warriors defeated Kathmandu Kings XI by seven runs in the day's kickoff match to sign off with consolation victory.
The outcomes put Lalitpur, who were already assured of playoffs before coming into match, on top of the six-team table with eight points from four matches while Lalitpur are fourth with three points after playing all five league games. They could drop to fifth if Kathmandu, who have two points from three matches, win one among the remaining two matches.
Second-placed Pokhara have five points from four matches and Bhairahawa have four points from three matches. Kathmandu bowed out with two points.
In the early kickoff, Biratnagar, already out of the playoff race, scored 104-5 in the game delayed due to wet outfield and reduced to eight overs per side. Chasing the target, Sandeep Lamichhane-led Kathmandu managed 97 runs for the loss of three wickets.
Biratnagar's middle order batter Anil Sah smashed unbeaten 45 runs off 16. The man-of-the-match cracked two boundaries and five sixes to post the challenging total. Opener Rayyan Pathan, 11-ball 30 and captain KC 11-ball 15 were the only other batters to contribute in double digits.
Canadian Pathan smashed two fours and three sixes before he was caught by Ashan Priyanjan off Gulshan Jha while KC hit a boundary and a six before being run out.
Apart from Jha, Ryan Burl and Sandeep Lamichhane picked one wicket each for Kathmandu.
In the run chase, Kathmandu opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz contributed 15-ball 28 before he was caught by Karan KC off Pratis GC. He hit three fences and a six. His opening partner Raju Rijal remained unbeaten on 24 runs facing 15 deliveries.
Subash Khakural played a quickfire 10-ball 26 remaining unbeaten, but failed to make an impact on the outcome. He hit three sixes in his 10-ball knock. Burl contributed 15 runs.
Biratnagar's Pathan grabbed two wickets while GC took one. Pathan gave away 30 runs in his two-over bowling.
In the late fixture, batting first, Lalitpur posted a meager total of 108-9 before Chitwan scored 112-5 with 16 balls to spare.
Indian batter Jaykishan Kolsawala scored highest 42 runs in the innings for Lalitpur as they lost other players cheaply. Kolsawala hit two fours and three sixes in his 33-ball knock. Sri Lankan opener Sandun Weerakkody and Surya Tamang were other batters to reach double figures scoring 14 and 11 runs respectively.
Kamal Airee was the pick of bowling for Chitwan grabbing three wickets while Karim Janat and Sagar Dhakal pocketed two wickets each. Airee gave away 11 runs in his four overs spell with a maiden over.
Chasing the target, Afghan opener Mohammad Shahzad scored 28-ball 35 that included four boundaries and two sixes. Bhim Sharki contributed 22-ball 27, Virandeep Singh 19-ball 13. Dilip Nath remained unbeaten with 16 runs.
Lalitpur's Afghan bowler Azmatullah Omarzai and Rijan Dhakal grabbed two wickets apiece while Yogendra Singh Karki pocketed one. Omarzai gave away 26 runs in his four overs spell while Dhakal conceded 11 runs in his two overs bowling.
Bhairahawa Gladiators are set to vie with Chitwan Tigers in the early match on Monday while Kathmandu will lock horns with Pokhara Rhinos in the late game.