Dhangadi face Biratnagar in final today

Dhangadhi, April 21

National team skipper Paras Khadka will be looking for their fifth straight victory when his Dhangadhi Team Chauraha face Biratnagar Kings led by Sharad Vesawkar in the final of the Sagarmatha Cement Dhangadhi Premier League here at the SSP Cricket Ground on Saturday.

Both the team captains looked confident in the pre-match press conference on the eve of the match but they refused to be called as favourites for the match.

Dhangadhi skipper Khadka said he was hoping for a tough match. “As a team captain and a player, I want to win the match and the game is an opportunity for both the teams,” he said. “Both the teams are playing good cricket in the recent matches and it should be a good contest.”

Dhangadhi 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, Vesawkar’s Biratnagar finished second in the league and beat Rupandehi in the first qualifier to earn a berth in the championship match. Vesawkar said his team would put up its best show in the final. “We have been performing well in the tournament and we will play for win in the final as well,” said Vesawkar.

Like Khadka, Vesawkar also ruled out that any side was strong going into the final match. “At the moment, we cannot say which team is strong as they (Dhangadhi) are also playing good cricket. We are hoping it will be like a final match. They played very well in the last two matches and we are hoping that it does not repeat in the final,” he added.

Asked about the crowd, Vesawkar said Dhangadhi will have advantage but both the teams would be under pressure. “Obviously they will have advantage as we are not playing in Biratnagar. But both teams will be under pressure to perform and the team that handles it better will win the match,” he said. Khadka added he would be happy to get supporters for the match but that would not play a huge role in players’ performance.

Regarding the pitch, Khadka said he and his team was least concerned about the conditions. “It’s all about adaptability and which ever teams bats well will have the advantage as both the teams have good bowlers in the squad,” said Khadka. His counterpart Vesawkar hoped of a high-scoring match. “We have seen a couple of high-scoring matches and hopefully we will have one tomorrow,” he added.

Both Khadka and Vesawkar thanked the organisers, Dhangadhi Cricket Academy, for hosting such a huge tournament. “The youngsters in my team were excited from the beginning and they have performed well. I think the tournament was too competitive as five teams were in fray for three berths in the playoff until last match,” Vesawkar said. “Congratulations to the organisers for the successful hosting of the tournament.” Khadka also lauded the organisers for their efforts in making the tournament a fabulous one.