Patriots earn hard-fought victory over Kings, advance to final

Kathmandu, December 18

Lalitpur Patriots beat Kathmandu Kings XI by one wicket to advance to the final of the TVS Everest Premier League here at the TU Stadium today.

Batting first, the Kings were bowled out for 108 runs in 19.5 overs before the Patriots struggled hard to achieve the target reaching 109-9 in the last ball of the match. The Patriots needed tailender Yogendra Singh Karki’s brilliance to win the match and earn a place in Saturday’s final.

Chasing a paltry target of 109 runs, the Patriots came under pressure at 54-6 inside 11 overs after Pardeep Sahu claimed three wickets in the space of four balls. The Patriots made a disastrous start losing opener Gaurav Tomar (one) in the fourth ball of the innings, while his partner Jaykishan Kolsawala (seven) also failed to make impact.

Skipper Gyanendra Malla was trapped leg before by Samshad Sheikh for 22-ball 21 before Sahu brought Kings into the match with triple strike in the 11th over. He had Pawan Sarraf caught by Sagar Pun in the first ball and he trapped Sandeep Jhora leg before the wicket in the third ball. Sahu then trapped Sunny Patel, a decision that left the Patriots camp stunned in disbelief, in the next delivery.

Kushel Bhurtel and Karki revived the innings with a 37-run partnership for the seventh wicket before the Patriots lost two quick wickets to be 94-8 in 18.3 overs. Debutant Surya Tamang was run out in the ball of the final over with Patriots still needing eight runs to win the match. Jitendra Mukhiya bowled a dot ball to pile pressure on the batsmen before Karki took four doubles in the remaining four balls to complete the victory.

Bhurtel top scored with 29 off 27 balls hitting two fours and a six, while Karki remained unbeaten on 29-ball 28 that included a four. Sarraf hit one each four and six in his 21-ball 19, while Malla’s 22-ball knock included four boundaries. Sahu returned with the figures of 3-11 from four overs, while Kevin O’Brien and skipper Rohan Mustafa took two wickets each.

Earlier, Kings were 58-1 in 6.4 overs before they faltered to be all out for a below-par total. Opener Rohan Mustafa top scored for the team with 32 off 20 balls that included three fours and two sixes, while Sagar Pun struck one each four and six in his 30-ball 29 and Siddhant Lohari (16) was the only other batsman to score in double figures.

Pawan Sarraf (3-13) and man-of-the-match Yogendra Singh Karki (3-18) shared six wickets between them for the Patriots, while Sunny Patel claimed 2-18. Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi also pocketed a wicket.

On Wednesday, Bhairahawa Gladiators will play against Chitwan Tigers in the Eliminator match. The winners will meet Kings in the second Qualifier on Thursday.