DHANGADHI: Dhangadhi Team Chauraha defeated Biratnagar Kings by 62 runs in the final of the Sagarmatha Cement Dhangadhi Premier League here at the SSP Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Batting first, Dhangadhi posted 159-5 in their allotted 20 overs before packing Biratnagar to 97 in 18.1 overs. Dhangadhi made a slow start scoring four runs in three overs and had already lost openers Raju Rijal (naught) and Anil Mandal (two).
They came under pressure after Prithu Baskota (12) was dismissed to be 37-2 in 9.2 overs. Skipper Paras Khadka and Aarif Sheikh steadied the innings with a 44-run partnership for the fourth wicket. After the fall of Khadka in the 15th over for 34-ball 29 that included three fours and a six, Sheikh and Amar Singh Routela added 63 runs for the fifth wicket in in just four overs that took the match away from Biratnagar.
Sheikh, who scored the fastest half century of the tournament reaching the mark off 28 balls with the help of four each boundaries and sixes, top scored with 30-ball 54. Sheikh was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his outstanding perrformance. Routela, who remained unbeaten on 15-ball 31 with the help of three fours and two sixes, added another 15 runs with Sourav Khanal for the unbroken sixth wicket. Khanal struck one each four and six in his five-ball 14.
Sushil Kandel was the pick of the Biratnagar bowlers taking 2-32 from four overs, while Jitendra Mukhita, Sandeep Lamichhane and Prakash Bista claimed one wicket apiece.
In reply, Biratnagar batsmen faltered at a time when it mattered the most. Only four players reached the double-figure mark and none of them could convert them into big innings. After losing opener Aasif Sheikh (three) in the fourth over, Biratnagar kept on losing wickets at regular interval and the batsmen failed to build partnership.
Pushpa Thapa Magar top scored for the team with 27 off 26 balls that included three boundaries and a six, while Opener Amit Shrestha scored 27-ball 26 hitting four boundaries. Anil Sah and Dipendra Singh Airee contributed 13 runs each.
For Dhangadhi, Sushan Bhari claimed 3-18 from four overs and he was ably supported by Aarif Sheikh (2-16) and Sourav Khanal (2-22). Ram Naresh Giri and Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi took one wicket each.
Dhangadhi had qualified for the playoff as the fourth and last team from the six-team league after winning the final two matches, including table toppers Rupandehi Challengers. Dhangadhi then defeated Kathmandu Goldens in the eliminator before registering their second victory against Rupandehi in the second qualifier to enter the final. On the other hand, Biratnagar had finished second in the league with four wins and beat Rupandehi in the first qualifier to earn a berth in the championship match.
Champions Dhangadhi received Rs 1.5 million along with the trophy, while Biratnagar earned Rs 700,000, Biratnagar’s Sushil Kandel, who took 17 wickets in the tournament, was named the man of the series award and received the TVS Apache RTR motorbike. Minister for Youth and Sports Daljit Sripaili among others handed over the prizes to the winners.