Biratnagar set up title clash with LumbiniNational captain Paudel’s side pull off a convincing 39-run victory over Janakpur in the second qualifier of Nepal T20.
Biratnagar Super Kings registered a convincing 39-run victory over Janakpur Royals in the second qualifier of Nepal T20 League on Tuesday to set up the title clash against Lumbini All Stars at the TU cricket ground in Kirtipur.
The national captain Rohit Paudel-led side opted to bat first and posted a moderate total of 167/6, led by a combined effort from the top half batters. They bowled out Janakpur for 128 runs in 19.1 overs after a dramatic collapse. Janakpur lost its last six wickets for only 17 runs, despite a half-century from Jamaican batter Chadwick Walton.
Biratnagar will now play against Lumbini, who finished on top in the league round and defeated Janakpur in the first qualifier, in the final on Wednesday. Biratnagar had finished third in the league and defeated Kathmandu Knights in the eliminator on Monday en route to the final.
Captain Paudel said that the hard effort of the entire squad and their good coordination on and off the field paid off and was key to their entry into the final.
Biratnagar opener Gauranshu Sharma scored 42 runs in his 41-ball knock, the highest of the innings, and also shared a 59-run opening wicket stand with Arjun Saud who scored 35 runs. Sharma cracked two hits to the boundary and two sixes before he was dismissed by Jitendra Mukhiya, who had him caught by Trevon Griffith.
“We have performed well on the field and we have been in a good momentum, lately. The way we started, I felt a 160 run score would be a decent one and we could defend it. We achieved that,” said Paudel.
“Though Lumbini have defeated us twice in the league stage, the winning momentum will help us in the final. However, Lumbini are a tough team and they have played well in the whole tournament. But we are confident as a team,” Paudel added.
Opener Saud, who was the first wicket to fall, smashed two boundaries and two sixes in his 26-ball innings before getting out to a delivery by Lalit Rajbashi.
Hussain Talat and Raj Nannan were the other remarkable contributors for Biratnagar scoring 31 and 33 runs respectively. Talat smashed five boundaries in his 21-ball knock and also shared a 43-run stand for the third wicket with opener Sharma. He was dismissed in the 15th over after Sharafuddin Ashraf had him caught by Pawan Sarraf.
The player-of-the-match Nannan, who also claimed two wickets, hit three boundaries and two sixes in his quick-fire knock off 18 balls before getting run out. Amar Routela remained not out on six runs, while Prithu Baskota contributed two runs.
Jitendra Mukhiya of Janakpur grabbed two wickets while Sharafuddin Ashraf, Lalit Rajbanshi and Samiullah Shinwari shared a wicket each. Mukhiya conceded 38 runs in his four-over spell.
In the Janakpur run chase, Walton smashed 51 off 47 balls, the highest of the innings, studded with six boundaries. He shared a 56-run stand for the second wicket with captain Trevon Griffith, who contributed a 24-ball 34. Walton’s departure in the 16th over after being trapped leg before by Nannan with 111/4 on board sparked a dramatic collapse of the innings.
Griffith smashed four hits to the fence and a six before he was stumped by wicketkeeper Saud off a delivery by Nannan. Khadak Bohora, who scored a run-a-ball 14 was the only other batter to score in double digits.
Keon Joseph was the pick of Biratnagar bowlers, claiming three wickets in his four-over spell. He conceded 27 runs and bowled a maiden over. Nandan Yadav and Ran Jannan took two wickets each while Hussain Talat and Surya Tamang shared a wicket apiece.
Janakpur’s medium pacer and Nepali international Sompal Kami lamented that his side had failed to perform when it mattered the most.
“We got two chances for the final,” said Kami referring to the first qualifier, which saw his side lose to Lumbini on Sunday. “Our batters failed to click and we could not chase in the qualifier. But it is all part of the game and playing better in the league stage does not ensure a trophy. We learned a lot of things and I am happy with the team’s performance,” he added.