Rain plays spoilsport in Kathmandu’s playoff hopesRain interrupts the game in 15th over giving Pokhara a 14-run win over Kathmandu.
Rain played spoilsport in Kathmandu Kings XI's ambition of securing playoffs as they faced a 14 runs defeat against Pokhara Rhinos on D/L method in a rain-affected match of the Everest Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament at the TU ground, Kirtipur on Monday.
Chasing the target of 183 runs, Pokhara had scored 142-5 at the completion of 15th over when the play stopped due to downpour, giving the Binod Bhandari-led side their third victory. Pokhara was in need of 41 runs from 30 deliveries for the win.
For Kathmandu, they could have secured playoffs with a victory.
In the day's opening game, Bhairahawa Gladiators ended leaders Chitwan Tigers’ winning streak with a six-wicket win to pull their third victory and climb to third spot with six points. They are scheduled to play Kathmandu in the last league game of the tournament on Tuesday.
The outcomes meant, Sandeep Lamichhane-led Kathmandu now need to beat Bhairahawa in their last match on Monday to seal a playoff spot. They are fifth in the six-team standings with two points as the event only guarantees playoffs to the top four teams.
Similar to Kathmandu, the game will also be a must-win affair for Bhairahawa to secure a qualifier spot. Chitwan lead the table with eight points, Pokhara are second with seven points and Bhairahawa are below them with six points. Lalitpur Patriots are fourth with three points while Biratnagar Warriors have already crashed out from the playoff race with just two points.
Put to bat first, Kathmandu amassed 182-8 after Amit Shrestha and Ryan Burl scored a half century each before captain Lamichhane’s remarkable contributions with bat.
Shrestha hit 41-ball 56 and shared 106-run partnership for the third wicket with Burl before he was clean bowled by Kishore Mahato. His innings included six fences and two sixes.
Zimbabwean Burl scored 50 runs off 43 balls that included two fours and three sixes. Lamichhane played a quickfire knock of 11-ball 31. He cracked two boundaries and three sixes. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz contributed 12 runs for Kathmandu who also got 18 extra runs.
Bibek Yadav claimed three wickets in the last over for Pokhara Rhinos removing Amar Routela, Lamichhane and Raju Rijal. He gave away seven runs in the over. Sahan Arachchige, Mahato, Nandan Yadav and Bikram Sob had one scalp each.
In the run chase, Sri Lankan batter Arachchige contributed 43 runs facing 23 deliveries. He smashed four boundaries and three sixes to share a 77-run stand for the fourth wicket with Bivek Yadav before being dismissed.
Yadav and Lokesh Bam remained unbeaten on 41 runs and 18 runs respectively before the rain interrupted the play. Yadav hit four boundaries and two sixes.
Kathmandu bowlers Jitendra Mukhiya and Gulshan Jha grabbed two wickets each while Lamichhane picked one.
In the first game, electing to bat first Chitwan posted 164-8 before Bhairahawa raced to 165-4 with 13 balls to spare after openers Tamim Iqbal and Pradeep Airee shared 106-run stand for the first wicket.
Chitwan's Karim Janat scored 37-ball 35 after opener Mohammad Shahzad contributed 24-ball 32. Bhim Sharki (16 runs), Seekkuge Prasanna (24 runs), Rajesh Pulami (14 runs) and Dilip Natha (13 runs) were the other batters to contribute in double digits.
Abinash Bohara was the pick of Bhairahawa bowling claiming three wickets. He conceded 38 runs in his four overs spell. Kushal Malla took two wickets.
In the run chase, openers Airee cracked 72 runs off 43 and Iqbal played 30-ball 40. Iqbal hit five fours and a six before being bowled by Bhim Sharki while Airee cracked eight fours and three sixes. He was caught by Dev Khanal off Sagar Dhakal.
Sri Lankan batter Upul Tharanga smashed unbeaten 39 off 19 with three boundaries and sixes each guiding Bhairahawa to victory.
Karim Janat of Chitwan took two wickets while Dhakal and Sharki pocketed one wicket each.