Rhinos, Titans taste victory

Pokhara, October 31

Chitwan Rhinos and Biratnagar Titans registered victories in the Namaste Pokhara Premier League here at the Pokhara Stadium grounds today.

Rhinos, led by national team skipper Paras Khadka, outplayed Expert Dhangadhi Blues by 126 runs, while Sandeep Lamichhane’s Titans edged past Butwal Blasters by 12 runs for their maiden win in the six-team premier T20 tournament.

In first match, Rhinos posted 193-5 in their allotted 20 overs before packing Blues for a paltry 67 runs with 28 balls to spare. Rhinos openers Harishankar Shah and Anil Kumar Sah gave the team a perfect start putting on 101 runs in 10.4 overs and other batsmen also made significant contribution to the total.

Shah scored a quick fire 53 off 33 balls, while Sah struck a four and three sixes in his 34-ball 37. Skipper Khadka hit four boundaries in his nine-ball 19, while Smit Patel scored a quick fire 24 off 17 balls with the help of four fours. Sunny Patel and Karan KC added 31 runs off 22 balls for unbroken sixth wicket. Patel struck three fours and a six in his 16-ball 26, while KC scored six-ball 11 hitting two fours.

Dipendra Singh Airee, Dan Lawrence, Yogendra Singh Karki and Manjeet Shrestha took one wicket each for Blues.

In reply, only two batsmen could score in double figures for Blues after Sunny Patel tore their innings apart. Peter Trego scored 27 off 21 balls hitting three fours and a six, while Yogendra Singh Karki scored 30-ball 17 hitting a six. Man-of-the-match Sunny Patel returned with 4-8 from 3.2 overs, and he was ably supported by Bhuwan Karki (2-20) and Smit Patel (2-19). Karan KC and Shakti Gauchan also took one wicket each.

In another match, Titans posted 140-7 in 20 overs before Butwal Basters managed 128-8. Blasters needed 13 runs from the final over to win the match but Kishore Mahato bowled exceptionally well, a maiden and a prized wicket of hard-hitting Siddhant Lohani (15).

Earlier, Titans’ innings revolved around Muhammad Zaid Alam’s knock and some brilliant batting by Pradeep Airee. Man-of-the-match Alam top scored with 72 off 45 balls that included six fours and five sixes, while Airee hit three boundaries in his 43-ball 41. Lalit Singh Bhandari took 2-16 from four overs, while Bipin Khatri, Samsad Sheikh and Sagar Pun took one wicket each.

In reply, Blasters failed to reach the target despite a half century from Bhim Sarki. Blasters were nicely cruising until the run out of Sarki in a mix up with skipper Sompal Kami. Sarki scored 50 off 42 balls. Opener Sagar Pun scored 29 off 33 balls hitting four boundaries, while Shankar Ran hit three fours and a six. Siddhant Lohani struck two sixes to take the team close to victory but he was unable to finish it off before being dismissed in the final over.

Last-over hero Mahato and Lamichhane took two wickets each, while Shahab Alam and Sunil Dhamala claimed one wicket apiece for Titans.