Allrounder KC lives up to star billing

  • Steers defending champion Warriors to three-wicket victory
  • Gyanendra Malla’s Patriots lose in tournament opener
- Adarsha Dhakal, Kathmandu

Dec 9, 2018-

Fast bowling all rounder Karan KC proved his worth starring with both bat and ball as holder Biratnagar Warriors began its Everest Premier League title defence with a nervy three-wicket victory over Lalitpur Patriots on Saturday.

Electing to bat first at the TU Stadium packed by some 8,000 spectators, Patriots could only manage 104-9 in 20 overs after only three batsmen managed to make runs in double figures. Patriots bowlers, however, did a commendable job restricting Warriors to 73-7 at one stage but KC exhibited his power hitting guiding the team to 105-7 with one ball to spare.

Openers Anil Kumar Sah (11) and Aasif Sheikh began cautiously for Warriors before hitting Sunny Patel for a six each in the third over in their 19-run stand. Teen leg spin prodigy Sandeep Lamichhane not only applied brakes on run flow but also dismissed Sah beginning with a wicket maiden in the fourth.

Spinners continued to keep Warriors skipper Paras Khadka and Sheikh at check as the duo only managed to collect 13 runs from 36 deliveries before Gaurav Tomar struck with a twin dismissal. First, the Indian recruit removed Khadka (eight) and sent back Smit Patel (one).

The Warriors camp was shell shocked after it lost big foreign signing Roelof van der Merwe for a duck to be 34-4. Sheikh and Sumit Maharjan (eight) were next to go as Warriors was tottering at 49-5 in 14 overs. With required rate going higher, KC began his unslaught hitting seamer Rashid Khan for a six and a four in the 16th over that fetched Warriors 17 runs.

Lamichhane stemmed the run flow in the 17th conceding just five runs and removing Hari Bahadur Chauhan (four) reducing Warriors to 73-7. Warriors needed 29 runs from the last three overs and Khan was once again at the receiving end when another Dutch recruit Paul van Meekeren hit him for six in the 18th over to collect nine runs.

With 20 runs needed from the last two overs, KC struck Sunny for a six in the first ball of the 19th over. Warriors managed to collect 10 runs form the penultimate over and KC once again did the job in the final over hitting Yogendra Singh Karki for a maximum in the second ball after scoring two runs in the first delivery. Two singles then took Warriors across finishing line.

KC and Van Meekeren (nine not out) shared an unbeaten 32 runs for the eighth wicket. Man-of-the-match KC scored 36 not out from 19 balls with three sixes and a boundary. Tomar returned the figures of 3-10 and Lamichhane snared 2-12 from their four-over spells.

Earlier, it was Van der Merwe who tightened the screws for Warriors picking up the wickets of Pawan Sarraf (14) and big hitter Tomar (four) returning 2-14 from four overs. Patriots also lost Kushal Bhurtel for a duck with their scores reading 39-4 in 9.2 overs.

Skipper Malla and Sunny shared 33 runs for the fifth wicket to consolidate the innings. Just when it seemed Sunny was going to up the ante, Khadka did the trick by getting rid of the all rounder following a sharp catch from Van der Merwe (20) at the long on boundary rope.  Malla top scored for Patriots making a 52-ball 49 hitting three fours and two sixes. KC took 2-20 for Warriors.

The opening ceremony was highlighted by a lenghty musical performance from popular singer Deepak Bajracharya and his band. On Sunday, Patriots will take on Prithu Baskota-led Chitwan Tigers and Sharad Vesawkar’s Bhairahawa Gladiators will be up against Pokhara Rhinos – skipper by Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer.

Summary

Biratnagar Warriors 105-7 in 19.5 overs (K KC 36 not out, A Sheikh 19; G Tomar 3-10, S Lamichhane 2-12) beats Lalitpur Patriots 104-9 in 20 overs (G Malla 49, S Patel 20; R van der Merwe 2-14, K KC 2-20) by three wickets

Man-of-the-match: K KC (Warriors)

Published: 09-12-2018 09:21

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