Dhangadhi taste victory

Dhangadhi, April 15

Dhangadhi Team Chauraha registered their first victory in four matches, while Biratnagar Kings earned playoff berth in the Sagarmatha Cement Dhangadhi Premier League here at the SSP Cricket Ground today.

Dhangadhi defeated Kathmandu Goldens by 11 runs, while Biratnagar beat Kanchanpur Iconic by five wickets. The results meant Biratnagar became the second team after Rupandehi Challengers to earn playoff berth, while Kathmandu and CYC Attariya are in strong position to earn the remaining two spots. Rupandehi and Biratnagar have six points each, Kathmandu and Attariya have four apiece. Dhangadhi and Kanchanpur Iconic have two each.

Batting first after winning the toss, Dhangadhi posted 136-8 and packed Kathmandu for 125. After openers Raju Rijal (11) and Anil Mandal (29) added 21 runs in 4.2 overs, Dhangadhi lost three wickets in the space of three runs, including that of skipper Paras Khadka for a first-ball duck.

Mandal then added 43 runs for the fourth wicket with Aarif Sheikh, who scored a 45-ball 58 with the help of five fours and three sixes to help his team post a fighting total. Mandal scored run-a-ball 29 hitting two boundaries. Tailender Saurav Khanal hit one each four and six in his eight-ball 16.

Sompal Kami (3-22) and Manjeet Shrestha (3-20) shared six wickets between them, while Basant Regmi and Santosh Bhatta took one each.

In reply, Kathmandu openers Naresh Budhayer (three) and Shubendhu Pandey (six) were out with just 17 runs on the board and Sunit Maharjan (11) departed two runs later to be 19-3 in six overs. Basant Regmi (11) and Sompal Kami added 36 runs for fourth wicket before Kathmandu lost three quick wickets to come under pressure at 64-6. Kami scored 18-ball 24 with the help of a four and two sixes.

Rohit Kumar Paudel (12) and Sandeep Jhora (28) shared a 42-run partnership for the seventh wicket before Aarif Sheikh struck twice in the 19th over to remove the pair with Kathmandu needing another 21 runs to win the match. Saurav Khanal bowled Santosh Bhatta in the first ball of the final over and Prithu Baskota ran out Bhuvan Karki in the last ball to complete the victory.

Sheikh, who took 3-17 from four overs, was named the man-of-the-match, and he was ably supported by Khanal (3-32) and Ramnaresh Giri (2-22).

In another match, Kanchanpur Iconic were bowled out for a paltry 80 runs in 17 overs before Biratnagar raced to victory losing five wickets in just 9.1 overs.

Hasim Ansari top scored for Kanchanpur with 27 off 35 balls hitting three fours and a six, while Kushal Bhurtel (19) and Aashish Pokhrel (10) were the other two batsmen who contributed in double figures. Man-of-the-match Sushil Kandel (4-8) and Sandeep Lamichhane (4-28) shared eight wickets between them, while Jitendra Mukhiya took 2-12.

In reply, Biratnagar could not make a desired start despite chasing a low total. Antim Thapa (12), Aasif Sheikh (naught), Amit Shrestha (nine) and Dipendra Singh Airee (naught) were dismissed cheaply before skipper Sharad Vesawkar consolidated the innings with 15-ball 28 that included five fours and a six. After Vesawkar lost his wicket in the eighth over, Pranit Thapa Magar (11 not out) and Anil Sah (eight not out) finished things off without further loss. Sagar Pun of Kanchanpur completed the five-wicket haul taking 5-25 from 3.1 overs.