Bhandari-inspired Tigers pounces on WarriorsA Lalit Singh Bhandari-inspired Chitwan Tigers remained in hunt for the Everest Premier League playoffs on Friday defeating Paras Khadka’s Biratnagar Warriors by five runs.
A Lalit Singh Bhandari-inspired Chitwan Tigers remained in hunt for the Everest Premier League playoffs on Friday defeating Paras Khadka’s Biratnagar Warriors by five runs.
A collective effort from the batsmen led by Middlesex batsman John Simpson took Tigers to tournament’s second highest score of 196-4 in 20 overs. Babar Hayat stood in the way of Tigers first win, smashing a 42-ball 90 to take Warriors on the brink of victory. But after his departure, Tigers bowlers tightened the screws to restrict the Warriors for 191-8.
Warriors, which lost its second consecutive game, now must defeat Kathmandu Kings XI in its last match to enter the playoffs. A win for Tigers against Pokhara Rhinos will still be insufficient for the Prithu Baskota’s side which also needs other results in the remaining fixtures go its way.
After a series of three consecutive defeats, Baskota heaved a sigh of relief. “We are quite relieved because needed it. We were playing good cricket but not managing to finish it well. We started well and others backed it up. It was really nice,” said Baskota adding his side will now put all the focus on Saturday’s game against Rhinos.
Despite being on the top in its chase, skipper Khadka said his side made things tough for itself. “We were making things difficult for ourselves but it was a fantastic game of cricket today. We lost
the game in the last four overs because they bowled really well,” added Khadka.
Khadka opened the innings and gave a modest start with Anil Sah (12) but was brilliantly bowled by Bhandari in the fourth over for 19. Babar, man-of-the-series of the last edition, took charge and shared important 83 runs for the third wicket with Aasif Sheikh.
Spinner Sagar Dhakal came in the 15th over to bowl a maiden including the duck dismissal of dangerous Dutchman Roelof van der Merwe. Aasif fell for 30 after hitting three sixes in his 21-ball knock. Hayat continued to score and approached his century after hitting Paul stirling for a six and a four to collect 13 runs in the 16th over.
A great display of swing bowling from Bhandari then turned the complexion of the game. Bhandari had Hayat caught at gully by a diving Dhakal and next ball bowled Hari Bahadur Chauhan to concede just three runs in the 17th over. Needing 35 runs from last 18 deliveries, Shahab Alam bowled an excellent 18th conceding just eight runs. The 19th over from Bhandari fetched Tigers two wickets at the expense of nine runs and Karan KC failed to finish it off for Warriors collecting 12 runs from the last over when it needed 18. Man-of-the-match Bhandari took 4-24 and Dhakal snared 3-24 from their four-over spells.
Earlier, Sandeep Sunar was the unlikely swift starter in his 44-run opening wicket stand with Paul Stirling (15 off 23). Sunar hit a 22-ball 30 with six boundaries. Simpson then took charge putting on a 52-run second wicket partnership with Sunar.
Simpson and Dipendra Singh Airee added another 69 runs before George Scott took the team close to 200 with a crucial cameo of 10-ball 24, that included three sixes. Simpson scored 78 off 44 balls with six fours and five sixes, while Airee chipped in 32 off 22 with three hits to the fence. Bhandari missed Mustafa’s stumping off Sushan Bhari Shrestha when he was batting on 32.
Chitwan Tigers 196-4 in 20 overs (J Simpson 78, DS Airee 32; P van Meekeren 1-25, B Regmi 1-33) beats Biratnagar Warriors 191-8 in 20 overs (B Hayat 90, A Sheikh 30; LS Bhandari 4-24, S Dhakal 3-24) by five runs
Man-of-the-match: LS Bhandari
Kathmandu Kings XI 166-5 in 19.2 overs (K O’Brien 54*, R Mustafa 40; B Sob 2-36,
S Gauchan 1-23) beats Pokhara Rhinos 165-6 in 20 overs (R Levi 38, K Coetzer 37, P Coughlin 37; BK Bhushal 2-24, K O’Brien 2-39) by five wickets
Man-of-the-match: K O’Brien