Bhairahawa Gladiators and Pokhara Rhinos sealed playoffs berths in the Bajaj Pulsar Everest Premier League here at the TU Stadium today.

The Gladiators beat Chitwan Tigers by six wickets to hand the table toppers the first defeat of the tournament, while the Rhinos edged past Kathmandu Kings XI by 14 runs under Duckworth-Lewis method after the rain disruption.

With the win, the Gladiators moved to third position on six points from four matches and they can finish at the top with a win over the Kings tomorrow. The Tigers - who won the first four matches to become the first team in playoffs - are at the top with eight points, while the Rhinos are second on seven. The match between the Gladiators and Kings will decide the fourth team in the playoffs.

The Kings are at the fifth position on two points, one behind defending champions Lalitpur Patriots. The Kings can qualify with a victory over the Gladiators, while their defeat will send the Patriots in playoffs.

In the day's first match, the Tigers posted 164-8 in their allotted 20 overs before the Gladiators raced to 165-4 with 13 balls to spare. Openers Tamim Iqbal and Pradeep Airee gave the Gladiators a flying start to their run chase scoring 106 runs. Iqbal scored a quick fire 40 off 30 balls hitting five fours and six, while player-of-the-match Airee top scored with a fiery 72 off 43 balls that included eight boundaries and three sixes.

Upul Tharanga struck three each fours and sixes in his 19-ball 39. Karim Janat took 2-23 for the Tigers, while Sagar Dhakal and Bhim Sharki bagged one wicket each.

Earlier, the Tigers batsmen struggled to build partnerships despite six players getting good starts. Janat top scored with 37-ball 35 with the help of one four and two sixes, while Mohammad Shahzad struck three fours and two sixes in his 34- ball 32. Seekkuge Prasanna (24), Bhim Sharki (16), Rajesh Pulami and Dilip Nath (13) scored in double figures. Abinash Bohara was the pick of the Gladiators bowlers taking 3-38, while Kushal Malla bagged 2-15.

In another match, the Kings posted 182-8 in their allotted 20 overs riding on half centuries from Amit Shrestha and Ryan Burl, while the Rhinos had reached 142-5 in 15 overs before the rain stopped the match with the team 14 runs ahead in D/L method.

Shrestha top scored for the Kings with 56 off 41 balls that included six fours and two sixes, while Burl struck two fours and three sixes in his 43-ball 50. Skipper Sandeep Lamichhane scored a quick fire 31 off 11 balls with the help of two fours and three sixes. Bibek Yadav was the pick of the Rhinos bowlers taking 3-7 in his one-over spell - in the first, third and sixth balls of the last over.

In reply, the Rhinos recovered from 36-4 in 5.5 overs to reach 142-5 before the rain stopped the play. Sahan Arachchige top scored with 23-ball 43 that included four boundaries and three sixes, while Bibek Yadav returned to scored 28- ball 41 not out with the help of four boundaries and two sixes.

Lokesh Bam remained unbeaten on eight-ball 18 that included three fours, while Richard Levi struck two fours and a six in his 13-ball 17. Jitendra Mukhiya and Gulsan Jha took two wickets each for the Kings.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 5, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.