Everest Premier League: Warriors in Qualifier, Tigers remain in hunt
Dec 24, 2017-
Paras Khadka-led Biratnagar Warriors guaranteed a place in the Qualifier for the Everest Premier League (EPL) easing past Bhairahawa Gladiators by 35 runs for their fourth consecutive victory at the TU Stadium on Saturday.
Put in to bat first, Hong Kong international Anshuman Rath struck a half century lifting Warriors to 149-6 in 20 overs. Sharad Vesawkar-skippered Gladiators were bundled out for just 114 runs in 18.3 overs in their reply. Warriors now have eight points from four matches and will not be toppled from the top two spot. Pokhara Rhinos, tied on four points with Gladiators - are second on net run rate.
Chitwan Tigers, meanwhile, stunned Gyanendra Malla’s Lalitpur Patriots by five wickets to stay alive in the hunt for the playoffs. Patriots, Kathmandu Kings XI and Tigers are tied on two points each with only run rate separating the three teams. Rhinos and Gladiators have one match in hand.
Warriors once again were lifted by a strong batting performance from their Hong Kong duo Rath and Hayat who forged a 93-run partnership for the second wicket before both fell to Hari Shankar Sah. Rath got his second half century of the tournament making 57 off 50 with eight hits to the fence. Hayat scored 36 from 35 with two boundaries and a six.
Hayat is currently the leading run getter of the tournament with 173 runs, one more than Rath. Khadka was all praise of the Rath and Hayat. “They have not given opportunity to anyone of us. But as long as the team wins, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a foreign player or domestic player. Going into the tournament, there will be the time that all of us need to step up and I hope everyone delivers when required,” said Khadka.
Khadka (15), Pranit Thapa Magar (14) and Karan KC (11 not out) were other batsmen to make runs in double figures. Sah took three wickets for Gladiators and Aarif Sheikh also had two scalps.
Gladiators came under tremendous pressure after spinner Basanta Regmi got rid of captain Vesawkar (two) cheaply to ensure Warriors were going to take control of the game. Avinash Karn did the rest picking up key wickets of Punit Bista (15), Aarif (10), Sah (18) and Rohit Kumar Paudel (two).
Man-of-the-match Karn returned the figures of 4-25 from four overs, Regmi took 3-22 from 3.3 including that of Gladiators’ top scorer Pradeep Airee. The opener made run-a-ball 18 with four boundaries.
In the second match of the day, Patriots found the start but couldn’t capitalise before they were all out for 130 runs in 20 overs. Skipper Dipendra Singh Airee and Pravin Gupta staged a remarkable recovery with the bat as Tigers reached 132-5 in 19.2 overs.
Sunny Patel, who replaced Patriots’ Indian recruit Yogesh Nagar, struck early in the game with three quick wickets and Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi removed Yogendra Singh Karki for a duck as Tigers were reduced to 33-4 in 4.3 overs. But Airee and Gupta rebuild the innings with a match-winning 81-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Airee made 55 off 50 with seven boundaries before falling to leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. Gupta, who hit the winning runs, was unbeaten on 56 off 43 with four boundaries and two sixes.
Patriots had a decent start after Shankar Rana and Jaykishan Kolsawala added 58 runs for the first wicket. But they failed to build on the start, specially in the death overs. Kolsawal made a run-a-ball 31 with three fours and Rana hit four boundaries in his 37-ball 27.
Subodh Bhati upped the ante late in the game smashing three sixes in an eight-ball 23, while Sonu Tamang (19) and Malla (10) made runs in double figures. Yogendra Singh Karki took four wickets for Tigers. Man-of-the-match Gupta and Pramesh Kumar had two scalps apiece.
Biratnagar Warriors 139-6 in 20 overs (A Rath 57, B Hayat 36; H Sah 3-35, A Sheikh 2-12) beat Bhairahawa Gladiators 114 all out in 18.3 overs (H Sah 18, P Airee 18; A Karn 4-25, B Regmi 3-22) by 35 runs; Man-of-the-match: A Karn
Chitwan Tigers 132-5 in 19.2 overs (P Gupta 56 not out, DS Airee 55; S Patel 3-23, S Lamichhane 1-19) beat Lalitpur Patriots 130 all out in 20 overs (J Kolsawala 31, S Rana 21; YS Karki 4-31, P Gupta 2-16); Man-of-the-match: P Gupta
Teams P W L NR Pts NRR
Warriors 4 4 0 0 8 1.444
Rhinos 3 2 1 0 4 0.474
Gladiators 3 2 1 0 4 -0.054
Patriots 4 1 3 0 2 0.083
Kings XI 4 1 3 0 2 -0.731
Tigers 4 1 3 0 2 -1.135
Published: 24-12-2017 10:31