Tez hand Warriors first defeat

Kathmandu, September 30

Sharad Vesawkar-led Panchakanya Tez beat Paras Khadka’s Vishal Warriors by two wickets to remain unbeaten in five matches in the Wai Wai Everest Premier League here at the TU Stadium today.

Opting to bat first, Warriors scored 142-6 in their allotted 20 overs before Tez reached 143-8 in 19.3 overs. Sagar Pun top scored for Warriors with 38-ball 44, while Manjeet Shrestha remained unbeaten on 40 off 35.

Warriors had a disastrous start with the bat after Nurdhoj Sen (four) and Raju Rijal (three) became victims of Sushil Kandel in the first and third overs respectively with only 12 runs on the board. But opener Pun and skipper Paras Khadka put the team on track with a 34-run partnership for the third wicket off just 25 balls.

Khadka slammed four boundaries and a six in his 17-ball 27 before being caught by Aarif Sheikh off Bhuwan Karki.

Pun then added another 61 runs with Shrestha for the fifth wicket to help Warriors reach a fighting total. Tez’s Kandel and Karki claimed two wickets each, while Karan KC and Dipendra Singh Airee took a wicket each.

In reply, Tez achieved the target with three balls to spare and also handed Warriors their first defeat in four matches. Player-of-the-match Aarif Sheikh scored a quick fire 47 off 34 balls with the help of a four and three sixes to guide Tez, who recovered from 20-3 in the seventh over after skipper Vesawkar (nine), Aasif Sheikh (seven) and Karan KC (four) were dismissed cheaply.

Prithu Baskota, who scored 24 runs off 22 balls, added 67 runs for the fourth wicket with Aarif Sheikh to anchor the innings. Baskota struck a four and a six. Sonu Tamang (14 off six) and Airee (14 off seven) ensured Tez’s victory. Tamang hit two sixes and Airee’s innings included a four. Despite the defeat, Warriors still have chance to make it to the final. They will take on Colors X-Factors in the last match of the league round on Saturday in the winners-take-all encounter. X-Factors are second with six points, while Warriors are third with five.

In the first match, X-Factors remained in the hunt after they defeated Jagadamba Rhinos in the super over. The match went to super over after both the teams were deadlocked at 112 runs in 20 overs. In the super over, Rhinos scored 10-2 after Sompal Kami hit a six off Avinash Karn. In reply, X-Factors reached the target riding on Siddhant Lohani’s seven and skipper Gyanendra Malla’s four.

Earlier, X-Factors scored 112-8 in 20 overs before Rhinos reached 112-9. Rajesh Pulami and Malla scored 29 runs each and shared a 47-run stand for the third wicket. Pulami hit a six in his 19-ball knock, while Malla struck two boundaries in 44 balls. Siddhant Lohani (19 off 13) and Yogendra Singh Karki (16 off 18) also scored in double digits. Rhinos’ Kami and Nizamuddin Halwai took three wickets each.

In reply, Rhinos overcame early jitters to tie the scores and push the match to super over. Mahesh Chhetri top scored with 22 off 24 balls. Middle order batsmen Kami (19 off 18) and Amit Shrestha (15 off 17) added 26 runs for the fourth wicket to keep their hopes alive. Rhinos needed 14 runs from the last over bowled by Kami. Pawan Sharraf remained unbeaten on 19 off 13 balls.

Sanjam Regmi was the pick of the X-Factors bowlers taking 4-12 off four overs, while Yogendra Singh Karki claimed two. Hari Shankar Sah and Amar Singh Routela pocketed one each.