Blues oust holders Pokhara Paltan

Pokhara, December 23

Expert Dhangadhi Blues defeated defending champions Pokhara Paltan by five wickets in the Pokhara Premier League here today.

Batting first, the Paltan were bowled out for a paltry 79 runs in 16.3 overs before the Blues raced to 85-5 with 65 balls to spare at the Pokhara Stadium.

The fourth consecutive defeat meant the home side was eliminated from the playoffs race. Blues accumulated four points from five matches and their progress depends on the results of other matches.

Chitwan Rhinos lead the five-team standing with eight points, while Butwal Blasters are second with six points.

The Rhinos and Blasters have already booked playoffs berth. Top team will directly enter the final, while the second and third placed teams will fight in eliminator to set the championship match.

Aasif Sheikh top scored for Paltan with 32 of 29 balls hitting four boundaries, while Binod Bhandari was the only other batsman to score in double figures with 10 runs. Anil Kharel was the pick of the Blued bowlers taking 3-15 in four overs, while Deepak Puniya, Kamal Singh Airee and Sagar Dhakal grabbed two wickets each.

In reply, opener Puniya top scored for Blues with 25 off 16 balls hitting two fours and a six. Rodrigo Thomas (15), skipper Dipendra Singh Airee (13), Shuvendu Pandey (11) also scored in double figures.

Prathamesh Dake and Sarabjit Ladda claimed two wickets each for Paltan, while Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi grabbed one wicket.

On Tuesday, leaders Chitwan Rhinos will take on Kathmandu Golden Warriors.