Rhinos win Women’s Champions League title

Kathmandu, October 24

Chitwan Rhinos defeated Kat Queens Kathmandu by 45 runs and won the title of the Women’s Champions League here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium today.

Put into bat first, the Rhinos posted 112-4 in their allotted 20 overs packing the Queens for a paltry 67 runs in the final of the premier Twenty20 cricket tournament. With the second win over the Queens, Rhinos finished their campaign as the lone unbeaten side. Rhinos had opened the tournament with a five-wicket victory over the Queens.

Rhinos made a positive start with openers Kajal Shrestha and Kanchan Shrestha putting in 49 runs inside nine overs before both of them were dismissed in the space of two balls. Kajal scored 21 off 28 balls hitting two fours, while Kanchan struck three boundaries in her 26-ball 19.

Former national team skipper Ritu Kanoujiya (six) and Suman Khatiwada then added 35 runs for the third wicket before the Queens claimed two quick wickets. Khatiwada top scored for the team with a quick fire 29 off 25 balls that included five boundaries.

Skipper Indu Barma and Pyari Chaudhary shared a 26- run partnership for the unbroken fifth wicket to post the challenging total. Barma struck four boundaries in her unbeaten 22 off 19 balls, while Chaudhary scored three not out. Sangita Rai, Laxmi Saud and Saraswati Kumari took one wicket each for the Queens.

In reply, the Queens made a disastrous start and never recovered. Apsari Begam, who struck two fours in her 31-ball 15, was the top scorer, while Mamta Thapa and Ishwori Bist contributed 13 runs each. Other batters failed to score in double figures.

Suman Khatiwada (3-11) and Ritu Kanoujiya (3-7) shared six wickets between them for the Queens, while Rekha Rawal claimed 2-9. Khatiwada, who had top scored in the match with 29 runs, received the player-of-the-match award.

Rhinos skipper Barma said her team was able to put the opponents under pressure from the beginning. “I think their decision to field first after winning the toss the wrong decision,” she said. “They had bounced back strongly after losing the first match against us and they had a strong team. We kept the momentum going throughout the tournament and all the members of the team played their part responsibly,” Barma added.

Queens skipper Belbashi lauded the Rhinos performance and said her team could not cope up with the pressure. “The credit goes to Chitwan Rhinos as they played good cricket. I think we were not responsible in our roles and the team was heavily dependent on senior players,” she said. “I also did not perform today and that made all the difference,” added Belbashi, who is also the skipper of the national team.

Rhinos received Rs 700,000 along with the trophy, while Queens earned Rs 300,000. Queens skipper Rubina Chhetry Belbashi was declared the player of the tournament and she got a TVS scooter along with Rs 50,000. Belbashi scored a total of 214 runs including two half centuries and claimed five wickets.

Rhinos opener Kajal Shrestha was named the best batter for her 134 runs in four matches, while her teammate Kabita Gautam received the best bowler’s award after she took 10 wickets in five matches.

They earned Rs 25,000 each along with Rs 250,000 worth cricket kits from Red Rock. Queens’ Ishwori Bist was declared the emerging player and she got Rs 15,000. She took six wickets and scored 24 runs.

A total of five city-based franchise teams took part in the tournament organised by Queens Event Management Pvt Ltd, the organisers of the Pokhara Premier League.