EPL: Lalitpur Patriots stroll to playoff in last ball thriller against Pokhara Rhinos

KATHMANDU: Lalitpur Patriots held their nerve to clinch a last ball thriller to defeat Pokhara Rhinos by 6 wickets to secure a playoff berth of the TVS Everest Premier League played at the TU Cricket Stadium, on Tuesday.

Patriots needed a victory in today's game to ensure there passage to playoff, elected to field first after winning the toss.

Patriots restricted already qualified Pokhara Rhinos for 132/5 in their 20 overs and achieved the target in the last ball of the game with a massive six after the score were level on 132/4.

At one stage Rhinos were reeling at 26/2 however, opener Sunil Dhamala held the fort from one end and remained unbeaten on 70 runs with two fours and five sixes.

Rajesh Pulami Magar contributed run-a-ball 32 runs that included two fours a maximum.

Lalitpur Patriots bowlers Dipesh Bhandari, Rashaid Khan, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi and Sandeep Lamichhane chipped in with a wicket each.

Jaykishan Kolsawala and Shankar Rana made a blistering start as they shared a 84 runs for the opening partnership and laid the foundation for the run-chase.

Pakistani recruit Israrullah dismissed Kushal Bhurtel caught and bowled in the 13.3 overs before cleaning up Jaykishan Kolsawala for 56 runs.

Kolsawala made 56 runs off 45 balls with four fours and three sixes in his match winning innings and his partner made measured 35 runs off 39 balls with five hits to the fence.

Patriots required just seven runs in the last overs for victory against Susan Bhari's slow left-arm orthodox.

Skipper Gyanendra Malla played a dot ball of first ball of the last over against Bhari, still needing seven off five balls for victory and playoff berth at stake.

Malla scored three runs on the next delivery putting Bhandari who was batting on 8 runs on the striker end still needing run-a-ball four runs.

However, Bhari took the wicket of Bhandari in next ball stumped by wicket keeper Dipesh Bhandari in a quick fashion.

Patriots were put in tremendous pressure, new batsman Sunney Patel smartly took the single and gave strike to their skipper.

Skipper Malla scored two runs in penultimate delivery with scored tied on 132 and still needing a run more off last ball of the game for securing their passage into the playoffs.

Malla finished the game in style with a towering six over the cow corner in a last ball thriller of the last group game of the tournament.

Israrullah took two wickets, Skipper Shakti Prasad Gauchan and Sushan Bhari bagged a wicket each.

Jaykishan Kolsawala was named man of the match for his brilliant match winning knock of 56 runs and collected Rs 10, 000.

In today's other game table topper Biratnagar Warriors

In today's other game already qualified Bhairahawa Gladiators defeated Chitwan Tigers, who are bottom of the table, by four wickets.

Skipper Sharad Veswakar wrecked through the Chitwan Tigers batting order as he snared three scalps for just 12 runs. He was named man of the match.

Table topper Biratnagar Warriors and Bhairahawa Gladiators will play the first qualifier tomorrow, the winner will advance to the final while the looser will get one more shot as they take on the winner of the other eliminator match.

Lalitpur Patriots and Pokhara Rhinos will meet in the eliminator match and the winner will play against the looser of the first qualifier.

The winner of the tournament will take away cash prize of Rs 2.1 million.