Chitwan Tigers hammered Pokhara Rhinos by nine wickets and advanced to the final of the Bajaj Pulsar Everest Premier League here at the TU Stadium today.

The Rhinos were all out for a paltry 66 runs in 15 overs before the Tigers raced to 68-1 in 7.5 overs in the first qualifier match. Sagar Dhakal and Shahab Alam shared eight wickets to restrict the Rhinos cheaply.

Alam took 4-10 and Dhakal claimed 4-12 from their fourover spells. Richard Levi top scored for the Rhinos with 19 runs, while Sunil Dhamala (18) and Sushan Bhari (12) were the other batsmen to score in double figures.

Chasing the 67-run victory, Tigers openers Mohammad Shahzad and Hasim Ansari put up 63 runs in 7.1 overs before the former was caught and bowled by Nandan Yadav.

Shahzad struck seven fours and two sixes in his quick fire 48 off 26 balls.

Ansari (14) and Karim Janat (four) completed the formality.

Ansari struck one each four and six in his 20-ball knock, while Janat hit the winning boundary.

In the eliminator match, Bhairahawa Gladiators beat Kathmandu Kings XI by 16 runs to set second qualifier date with the Rhinos.

Batting first, the Gladiators posted 188-8 in 20 overs before restricting the Kings to 172-8. Skipper Sharad Vesawkar top scored for the Gladiators with a quick fire 49 off 20 balls that included seven boundaries and three sixes.

Pradeep Airee hit six fours and a six in his 26-ball 39, while Upul Tharanga and Kushal Malla contributed 32 each.

Skipper Sandeep Lamichhane and Ashan Priyanjan took two wickets for the Kings.

In reply, Priyanjan fought the lonely battle for the Kings.

He scored a quick fire 68 off 48 balls with the help of five boundaries and four sixes.

Janak Prakash (28) and Amit Shrestha (19) also scored in double figures. Dhammika Prasad, Kushal Malla and Aarif Sheikh took two wickets for two wickets each.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 7, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.