Malla slams first PPL ton

Pokhara, December 18

Skipper Gyanendra Malla scored the first century of Namaste Pokhara Premier League as Kathmandu Golden Warriors defeated Dhangadhi Blues by 106 runs here at the Pokhara Stadium today.

Batting first, the Warriors posted 185-5 in a match which was reduced to 17-over-a-side due to low visibility caused by fog, while the Blues were packed for a paltry 79 runs in 16 overs. The national team skipper Malla struck eight fours and nine sixes in his fiery 38-ball knock to reach the three-figure mark and help the team register first victory in three matches.

Malla and Jaykrishan Kolsawala added 131 runs for the third wicket to post the huge total.

Kolsawala scored 46 off 37 balls that included four fours and two sixes, while Amit Shrestha hit six fours and a six in his 21-ball 34. Kamal Singh Airee claimed 4-37 for the Blues.

Chasing a mammoth target, the Blues batsmen failed to build partnerships. Only Srimantha Wijeyeratne (15) and Rodrigo Thomas (10) were able to score in double figures for the Blues. Basant Regmi grabbed three wickets for the Warriors, while Suboth Bhati and Pawan Sarraf took two wickets each.

In another match, Biratnagar Titans defeated defending champions Pokhara Paltan by 45 runs. Batting first, the Titans posted 145-5 in their allotted 20 overs before packing the home team to 100 in 19.5 overs.

Titans openers Muhammad Zaid Alam and Sunil Dhamala put in 50 runs in 8.2 overs before Puneet Mehra helped the team reach fighting score. Alam scored 26 off 27 balls, while Dhamala scored 40-ball 36.

Both the openers struck two each fours and sixes.

The Titans were reduced to 76-5 but Mehra and Raju Rijal rescued the team with a 69-run partnership for the unbroken sixth wicket. Mehra struck five fours and four sixes in his 26- ball 61 not out, while Rijal remained unbeaten on run-a-ball nine. Paltan skipper Sharad Vesawkar took two wickets.

In reply, Rohit Kumar Paudel top scored for Paltan with 32, while Kushal Bhurtel was the next best with 24 and Aasif Sheikh (13) was the only other batsman to score in double figures.

Kishore Mahato took three wickets for the Titans, while Jitendra Mukhiya and Muhammad Zaid Alam grabbed two wickets each. After the day’s matches, all six teams have earned two points each. The table toppers will make it to the finals directly, while the second and third placed teams will play the eliminator.