Tez make it four in a row, advance to final

Kathmandu, September 29

Panchakanya Tez registered their fourth straight victory to advance to the final of the Wai Wai Everest Premier League here at the TU Stadium today.

Tez defeated Sagarmatha Legends by 49 runs to accumulate eight points from four matches and made it to the final with one match to play. Tez were the champions of the one-day tournament organised by Zohra Sports Management under the Nepal Premier League two years ago in Dhangadhi and Kanchanpur.

Batting first after skipper Sharad Vesawkar won the toss, Tez scored 185-5 in their allotted 20 overs before packing the Legends to 136 in 17.4 overs. After opener Aasif Sheikh (three) was out with just four runs on the board, skipper Vesawkar and Karan KC added 79 runs for the second wicket before the latter fell for 52 in the 12th over. KC struck four each boundaries and sixes in his fiery 31-ball knock. Vesawkar scored 30 off 32 balls hitting two fours and a six fell in the next over.

Prithu Baskota struck two fours and as many sixes in his unbeaten 38 off just 21 balls, while Kushal Bhurtel scored 22 off just nine balls that included a four and two sixes. Sonu Tamang struck two sixes in his 12-ball 17, while Dipendra Airee remained unbeaten on 11 off seven balls that included two fours. Baskota and Airee added 36 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket.

Bikram Sob was the pick of the Legends bowlers taking 2-33, while Chandra Sawad, Mehboob Alam and Rahul Vishwakarma pocketed one wicket each.

In reply, the Legends batsmen struggled from the beginning and failed to build partnerships, with the 33-run stand for the ninth wicket between Sawad and Vishwakarma being the highest one. The former national team opener and hard-hitting batsmen Alam top scored for the team with 23 off 19 balls that included four boundaries. Vishwakarma and Sawad both contributed 22 off 15 balls. Vishwakarma struck three fours and six, while Sawad hit a four and two sixes. Opener Sunil Dhamala (18) and Dilip Nath (14) also scored in double figures but failed to convert them in meaningful innings.

Sushil Kandel (3-4) and Vesawkar (3-22) shared six wickets between them, while Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Airee, Puspa Thapa and Kushal Bhurtel claimed one wicket each. Karan KC was named the man-of-the-match.

In the day’s first match, Colors X-Factors defeated Kantipur Gurkhas by 15 runs. Batting first, X-Factors scored 124-8 in 20 overs and restricted Gurkhas to 109-7. Yogendra Singh Karki top scored for X-Factors with 30 off 28 balls that included four boundaries, while skipper Gyanendra Malla scored 17-ball 20 hitting three fours. Amar Singh Routela remained unbeaten on 16 off 10 balls, while opener Hari Shankar Sah scored 12. Siddhant Lohani (10) and Himanshu Dutta (nine) were the only batsmen to hit sixes, one each.

Lalit Bhandari and skipper Basant Regmi took two wickets each for the Gurkhas, while Lalit Rajbanshi and Aakash Bista claimed one apiece.

In reply, Gurkhas lost opener Subash Khakurel in the first over and wickets kept on tumbling at regular interval to become 44-4 in the ninth over. Skipper Regmi and Antim Thapa added 59 runs for the fifth wicket to guide the team past three-figure mark but X-Factors struck at the right time to take the match away from them by dismissing the duo in the space of three runs. Airee, who scored 31 off 24 balls hitting two fours and three sixes, was the lone fighter in top order, while Thapa scored 33-ball 30 hitting two fours and Regmi hit a four in his 39-ball 25.

Amar Singh Routela was the pick of the X-Factors bowlers taking 3-33 from four overs, while Avinash Karn claimed 2-19. Hari Shankar Sah and Yogendra Singh Karki pocketed one wicket each.

With the win, the X-Factors moved up to third with four points, one less than second-placed Vishal Warriors. The Gurkhas, who wrapped up the league with just one win from five matches, accumulated three points and are out of the race along with the Legends who are yet to open their accounts. Jagdamba Rhinos, who have two matches to play, are at fifth position with two points. Top two teams will fight for the championship.