Chitwan Tigers storm into finalSompal Kami-led team thrash Pokhara by nine wickets in the first qualifier to secure final berth while Bhairahawa see off Kathmandu by 16 runs in the eliminator.
Sompal Kami-led Chitwan Tigers stormed into the final with a nine-wicket win over Pokhara Rhinos in the first qualifier of the Everest Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament at the TU cricket ground in Kirtipur on Wednesday.
Chitwan came up with a dominant show in both balling and batting departments to secure the final berth of the tournament for the first time. Electing to bowl first, Chitwan bundled out Pokhara for a meagre total of 66 runs in 15 overs after Sagar Dhakal and Shahab Alam grabbed four wickets each.
Afghani opener Mohammad Shahzad shone with the bat in Chitwan's run chase playing a quickfire 26-ball 48 as they made 68-1 in 7.5 overs.
They will meet the winners of Thursday’s second qualifiers between Pokhara and Bhairahawa Gladiators, who edged Kathmandu Kings XI by 16 runs in the eliminator played later in the day. The final will take place on Saturday.
Shahzad shared a 63-run partnership for the first wicket with Hasim Ansari before being caught and bowled by Nandan Yadav. He smashed seven boundaries and two sixes. Hasim Ansari remained not out on 14 runs off 20 deliveries.
Pokhara's Yadav claimed the only wicket in his 1.5 overs bowling giving away 23 runs. In the Pokhara innings, openers Richard Levi and Sunil Dhamala, and lower middle order batter Sushan Bhari were the only players to touch the double digit figures. South African batter Levi scored 12-ball 19 before he was bowled by captain Kami.
Dhamala contributed 18 runs off 31 balls before being bowled by Dhakal. Bhari scored 12 runs off 14. He was caught by Hasim Ansari off Shahab Alam.
Left arm spinner duo Alam and Dhakal grabbed four wickets each. The man-of-the-match Alam came up with economic figures giving away 10 runs in his four-over spell. Dhakal conceded 14 runs in his four overs bowling.
In the eliminator played later in the day, batting first Sharad Vesawkar's Bhairahawa posted a mammoth total of 188-8 after a collective batting effort. Chasing the target, Sandeep Lamichhane-led Kathmandu managed to eke out 172-8.
Bhairahawa captain Vesawkar, who came to bat at number six, played a crucial role to take the team to a big total with some late blitz. He played a quickfire 20-ball 49 and shared a 61-run stand for the fifth wicket with Kushal Malla who scored 20-ball 32.
The man-of-the-match Vesawkar smashed seven sixes and three boundaries, including two sixes and fours each to Lamichhane in the 17th over. Malla smashed four sixes.
Opener Pradeep Airee hit 27-ball 39 and Upul Tharanga 33-ball 35. The duo shared a 47-run stand for the second wicket after they lost opener Tamim Iqbal cheaply for nine runs. Airee hit six boundaries and a six while Tharanga hit five fences. Aarif Sheikh contributed 15 runs.
Kathmandu bowlers Ashan Priyanjan and Sandeep Lamichhane grabbed two wickets apiece while Janak Prakash, Jitendra Mukhiya and Sher Malla had one scalp each.
Chasing the target, Sri Lankan opener scored 68 runs off 48 before he was bowled by compatriot Dhammika Prasad. He did not get the deserving support from the other end as his opening partner Raju Rija was dismissed for 10 runs while Ryan Burl was out for a duck as Kathmandu were 33-2.
Amit Shrestha, Janak Prakash and Dinesh Adhikari were the other players to contribute in double digits. Prakash contributed 14-ball 28, Shrestha 15-ball 19 and Adhikari 9-ball 15.
Bhairahawa bowlers Prasad, Kushal and Aarif Sheikh claimed two wickets each while Durgesh Gupta picked one.