Kings make it to playoffs, Tigers stay alive

Kathmandu, December 15

Kathmandu Kings XI defeated Bhairahawa Gladiators by seven wickets to earn berth in playoffs, while Chitwan Tigers remained in contention with a seven-wicket victory over Pokhara Rhinos in the TVS Everest Premier League here at the TU Stadium today.

Kings joined Lalitpur Patriots and Gladiators in the playoffs following their third win, while the fate of Tigers — who ended their campaign with four points — will depend on the result of Biratnagar Warriors’ last match. Kings’ victory over Gladiators meant no team remained unbeaten, while Rhinos were the only side who failed to register a single win.

In the day’s first match, Gladiators posted 149-4 in their 20 overs before Kings romped home for the loss of three wickets. Gladiators were in trouble losing first three wickets — Pradeep Airee (naught), Harishankar Shah (four) and Ryan ten Doeschate (12) — for 40 runs inside nine overs but Indian cricketer Ravi Inder Singh and skipper Sharad Vesawkar added 109 runs for the fourth wicket to post the fighting total.

Singh, the lone centurion of the tournament so far, struck six boundaries and four sixes in his unbeaten 86 off just 61 balls, while Vesawkar scored 31-ball 39 hitting three fours and six before being bowled by Jitendra Mukhiya in the last ball of the innings. Mukhiya returned with 2-25, while Pardeep Sahu claimed the scalp of ten Doeschate.

In reply, Amit Shrestha became the first Nepali player to score a half century in the tournament as Kings chased down the total with five balls to spare. Shrestha struck four boundaries and two sixes in his 46-ball 51 before being run out by Airee. Kings skipper Rohan Mustafa scored 24-ball 36 with the help of three fours and two sixes.

Ireland international Kevin O’Brien scored an unbeaten 33 off just 15 balls hitting five fours and a six, while Sagar Pun scored 13 off 22 balls. Bhuwan Karki and skipper Vesawkar took one wicket each for Gladiators.

In another match, Tigers stayed in contention inflicting fifth straight defeat on Rhinos. Batting first, Rhinos posted 129-5 before Tigers reached 134-3 in 19 overs. Sunil Dhamala top scored for Rhinos with 51 off 42 balls that included three fours and two sixes, while Binod Bhandari struck three fours in his 36-ball 27.

Skipper Kyle Coetzer scored 23 off 17 balls with the help of three fours and six, while Rajesh Pulami Magar scored 17-ball 12. Englishman Geroge Scott was the pick of the Tigers bowlers taking 3-24, while Lalit Singh Bhandari claimed 2-29.

In reply, Paul Stirling and Dipendra Singh Airee scored half centuries to ease the chase. Opener Stirling hit five fours and two sixes in his 46-ball 55, while Airee finished things off with 46-ball 54 not out with the help of five fours and two sixes. Sandeep Sunar scored run-a-ball 10. Nandan Kumar Yadav took 2-35 for Rhinos, while Susan Bhari claimed one wicket.