Biratnagar in playoff contention after winBiratnagar pull off a dramatic last-ball win over Far West, knocking them out of the playoffs race in the Nepal T20 League.
Biratnagar Super Kings registered a dramatic three-run victory over Far West United to remain in the playoffs hunt, sending their opponent crashing out of the league rounds of the Nepal T20 League at the TU ground in Kirtipur on Friday.
Biratnagar defended their 148-run target conceding just two runs in the last over and dismissing two batters off the last two deliveries when Far West required six runs from as many balls, restricting them at 144-9.
The outcome meant Kathmandu Knight Kings (8 points), Biratnagar (8 points) and Pokhara Avengers (6 points) are in the race for third and fourth positions – the remaining two playoff (eliminator) spots – in the event that sends top four teams into playoffs. Lumbini All Stars and Janakpur Royal are already into the qualifiers as the top two teams.
Far West, meanwhile, became the first team to bow out of the league with four points from nine matches. The bottom four teams are yet to play their last games.
The winner of the last group match between Kathmandu and Biratnagar scheduled for Saturday will qualify for the playoffs (eliminator) as the third-placed team. Even the losing side between Kathmandu and Biratnagar could qualify for the eliminator, should Far West beat Pokhara in their last game.
But if Pokhara win their last match, the fourth team to qualify for playoffs will be decided on the net run rate.
Pakistani all-rounder Hussain Talat scored 50 off 29 for Biratnagar, which was off to a troubled start after losing openers Gauranshu Sharma for one run and Pradeep Airee for three runs. Talat shared a 66-run third-wicket partnership with captain Rohit Paudel who contributed a 29-ball 21.
Talat cracked five boundaries and two sixes as Biratnagar posted 147-6. He was trapped leg before by Umair Ali. Bibek Yadav made a significant contribution, an unbeaten 35 off 20 balls, comprising two fence hits and two sixes. Arjun Saud hit a 26-ball 22 before being run out.
Far West’s Umari Ali grabbed two wickets, while Karan KC and Durgesh Gupta picked up a wicket each.
In the run chase, Far West captain and opener Hashmatullah Shahidi contributed the highest score - 58 off 46. He hit four boundaries and a six before being trapped leg before wicket by Raj Nannan. Umair Ali (23 off 12), Binod Bhandari and Bhim Sharki (10 runs each) were the other Far West batters to touch double-digit scores.
Nannan, who claimed the prized wicket of Shahidi, returned figures of 4-2-32-3 and was named the player-of-the-match. Surya Tamang claimed two wickets.
All-rounder Griffith inspires Janakpur to victory
An all-round show from Guyana’s Trevon Griffith inspired Janakpur Royals to a 23-run victory over table topper Lumbini All Stars in a clash between the top two sides, both of whom have already secured a qualifier spot in the Nepal T20 league.
The player-of-the-match Griffith, also the captain of Janakpur, smashed an unbeaten 47-runs off just 11 balls and claimed three wickets. Sent into bat, Janakpur posted 159/6 and restricted Lumbini at 136-7 in a game reduced to 17-overs per side after Janakpur showed up for the match late by more than half-an-hour.
The same two sides will clash in the qualifier 1 on Sunday for a place in the final. The winner will advance into the final while the losing team will play against the winner of the eliminator in the second qualifier game.
Despite losing their last match of the league stage, Lumbini and Janakpur have both remained unchanged in the top two positions in the six-team standings. Lumbini wrapped up the group stage with 16 points with eight wins and two defeats while Janakpur finished with 14 points, winning seven and losing three games.
Griffith, the highest scorer batting at number eight, smashed three boundaries and five sixes as Janakpur scored 48 runs in the last two overs to post an imposing total. Openers Sharafuddin Ashraf (18-ball 34) and Khadak Bohora (30-ball 22) gave a strong start to Janakpur, sharing a 51-run stand for the opening wicket. Afghani all-rounder Ashraf hit five boundaries and a six before Sagar Dhakal had him caught by Gulsan Jha.
Samiullah Shinwari made a significant contribution of an 11-ball 20 and Dilip Nath scored 10 runs off 11.
Lumbini all-rounder Kushal Bhurtel and Sagar Dhakal both grabbed two wickets each.
Chasing the target, Anil Sah scored a 21-ball 35 that included one boundary hit and three sixes before Pawan Sarraf had him caught off Griffith. Opener Lahiru Milantha contributed an 18-ball 32, comprising four boundaries and two sixes. Griffith had him caught by Aadil Alam. His opening partner and captain Bhurtel was bowled by Ashan Priyanjan for just five runs.
Sunil Dhamala, who scored 27 off 20 balls and Gulsan Jha, 10, were the other batters to score in the double digits.
Janakpur’s Griffith conceded 30 runs in his four-over spell while Shinwari returned with figures of 3-0-20-2.