Rhinos bounce back into contentionParas Khadka’s Chitwan Rhinos bounced back into contention for the top three spot of the Pokhara Premier League (PPL) with a 126-run hammering of Dhangadhi Blues on Wednesday.
Paras Khadka’s Chitwan Rhinos bounced back into contention for the top three spot of the Pokhara Premier League (PPL) with a 126-run hammering of Dhangadhi Blues on Wednesday.
Put in to bat first at the Pokhara Stadium, openers Hari Shankar Sah and Anil Kumar Sah put on tournament’s first century partnership. Rhinos’ 193-5 was also the PPL’s second highest team total. Even before Blues had opened their scoring, Karan KC and Sunny Patel struck to derail their chase. Blues innings’ was eventually folded for 67 in 16.2 overs.
The first win in three matches lifted Rhinos to the fourth spot in the six-team standings and they are now under pressure to win their remaining two matches to round up inside the top three to have a shot at the final. After the round robin league, a team finishing at the top will directly enter the final. The second and third place finishing sides will meet each other in the Eliminator to play the final.
The first half of the Rhinos innings belonged to Hari Shankar and Anil, who laid the foundation for a big total with a 101-run stand. Anil scored 34 off 37 with three sixes and a four. Hari Shankar fell nine runs later soon after the opener completed half century. He scored 33-ball 53 with six fours and three sixes.
Skipper Paras (19) and Smit Patel (24) maintained the run rate before Karan KC (11 not out) and Sunny Patel (26 not out) took their team close to 200 runs. Khadka credited his opening batsmen for the big victory.
“They stuck to the wicket and it helped us carry on that momentum. This was a good win and has brought us back in the tournament. We must win next two matches and see how where we end up,” the skipper.
Blues had a disastrous start after they lost openers Dilip Nath to KC and Daniel Lawrence to Sunny in the first two overs without scoring a run. Sunny struck again removing Sandeep Sunar (1) to reduce Blues to 7-3 in four overs.
Another foreign recruit of Blues Peter Trego played some delightful strokes but his dismissal off Bhuwan Karki effectively ended the team’s challenge. Trego top scored for them with a 21-ball 27 with three fours and a six.
Yogendra Singh Karki (17) was the only other batsman to make runs in double figures. Man-of-the-match Patel returned the envious figures of 4-8 from 3.2 overs, while Bhuwan and Smit also took two wickets each.
Rhinos will now take on Biratnagar Titans and Kathmandu Royals in their next two matches.
Titans’ chances hang by thread
Sandeep Lamichhane’s Biratnagar Titans stayed mathematically alive in the race for top three after they stunned Butwal Blasters by 12 runs in the Pokhara Premier League on Wednesday. On their way to registering first victory, Titans survived a last-over thriller with Kishor Mahato bowling a maiden.
Electing to bat first, Titans rode on a brilliant knock from Muhammad Zaid Alam to reach a modest 140-7 in 20 overs. Blasters, in reply, were restricted to 128-8 in 20 overs. Titans needed 13 runs from the last over but Mahato went on to bowl a maiden after affecting the run out of Siddhant Lohani (15) in the first ball. Despite the defeat, Blasters stay on top of the standings with four points from three matches with a healthy net run rate. Titans are at the bottom of the table with two points from four games and their progress will depend on results from other matches.
Bhim Sharki scored a half century for Blasters making 50 off 42 with four boundaries and a six. Sagar Pun (29) and Shankar Rana (23) were the other notable scorers for Blasters. Mahato took 2-12 and Lamichhane claimed 2-24.
Earlier, Alam scored half the Titans’ team total, making a 45-ball 72 with six boundaries and five fours. He put on 36 runs for the second wicket with Jitendra Singh Thakuri (2) and 67 runs for the third with Pradeep Airee. He fell to Sagar Pun after hitting the bowler for two consecutive sixes. Airee scored 41 off 43 with three boundaries. Bhandari took 2-16 from 2.3 overs for Blasters. (PR)
Pokhara Premier League Summaries
Chitwan Rhinos 193-5 in 20 overs (H Shah 53, A Sah 37;M Shrestha 1-7, Y Karki 1-22) beat Dhangadhi Blues 67-10 in 16.2 overs (P Trego 27, Y Karki 17; S Patel 4-8, SK Patel 2-19) by 126 runs; Man-of-the-match: S Patel
Biratnagar Titans 140-7 in 20 overs (M Alam 72, P Airee 41; L Bhandari 2-16, B Khatri 1-16) beat Butwal Blasters 128-8 in 20 overs (B Sharki 50, S Pun 29; K Mahato 2-12, S Lamichhane 2-24) by 12 runs; Man-of-the-match: M Alam