Paras Khadka shines as Nepal-XI beat Dhangadhi-XI

Dhangadhi, April 9

National cricket team skipper Paras Khadka made a brilliant comeback scoring a half century to help Nepal-XI beat Dhangadhi-XI by 31 runs in a charity match played on the eve of the Sagarmatha Cement Dhangadhi Premier League at the SSP cricket grounds today.

Khadka, who missed the ICC World Cricket League Championship matches against Kenya on home soil as well as the ACC Emerging Teams Cup in Bangladesh, had been out of action due to health issues.

Khadka, who returned to lead the Nepal-XI side in the opening match of the DPL, helped his team post 161-8 in 20 overs. Dhangadhi-XI managed 130-8.

Paras Khadka plays a shot. Photo: Udipt Singh Chhetry
Paras Khadka plays a shot. Photo: Udipt Singh Chhetry

Khadka showed no signs of fatigue as he cracked seven boundaries and four sixes in his fiery 44-ball 68. Khadka’s decision to bat first, however, backfired as Dhangadhi bowler Bikram Thagunna bowled openers Sagar Pun and Dilip Nath out in the first over with only one run on the board.

After both the openers were out for ducks, Basant Regmi — the second highest scorer with 38-ball 43 — and Khadka added 82 runs for the third wicket to anchor Nepal-XI innings.

Regmi hit four boundaries and three sixes before being stumped by Raju Rijal off skipper Padam KC. Khakda then added 63 runs with Sharad Vesakwkar (19) for the fourth wicket to help his side reach a big total. Vesawkar hit a four and a six.

Dhangadhi-XI’s Thagunna claimed four wickets conceding 21 runs in his four-over spell, while Sagar Bhandari and Padam KC picked up one apiece.

In reply, Dhangadhi-XI made a disastrous chase as opener Padam KC (four) was caught by Sandeep Lamichhane of Sompali Kami in the fourth ball of third over with seven runs on the board. But Sunil Dhamala, who top scored for Dhangadhi-XI with 30-ball 34, revived the innings sharing a 47-run with Bijay Rana (13) for the second wicket.

Dhamala hit four boundaries and a six to keep the momentum going but he did not get enough support from the other end as wickets kept falling at regular intervals.

Dipendra Singh Airee scored a quickfire 18-ball 26 with the help of two fours and as many sixes and Roshan Adhikari scored 17 off 16 balls hitting two boundaries.

Shakti Gauchan was the pick of the Nepal-XI bowlers taking three wickets, while Sompal Kami took two. Mehboob Alam, Sandeep Lamichhane and Avinash Karn claimed one apiece. Nepal-XI’s Khadka and Dhangadhi-XI’s Thagunna were named the players of the match.

Six franchise-based teams are competing in the DPL which is being organised by Dhangadhi Cricket Academy.

National cricket team players Paras Khadka (Team Chauraha Dhangadhi), Gyanendra Malla (CYC Attariya), Sharad Vesawkar (Biratnagar Kings), Basant Regmi (Kathmandu Goldens), Shakti Gauchan (Rupandehi Challengers) and Binod Bhandari (Kanchanpur Iconic) will lead their teams in the tournament. The six captains were picked up by the owners for Rs 100,000 each, while the teams bought other members from the first-ever players’ auction.

The winners and runners-up will get Rs 1.5 million and Rs 700,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, the organisers felicitated national team coach Jagat Tamatta and Jung Bahadur Thapa for their contribution in the development of cricket.