Titans set PPL final date with Rhinos
Pokhara, December 26
Biratnagar Titans stormed into the final of the Namaste Pokhara Premier League at the Pokhara Stadium today.
Titans defeated Butwal Blasters by 21 runs to register their second straight victory over the same opponents in two days. Batting first, the Titans posted 165-5 in their allotted 20 overs before packing the Blasters for 144 runs.
Titans, who beat Blasters by four wickets in the last match of the league to make it to playoffs yesterday, will face Chitwan Rhinos in Saturday’s final. Rhinos advanced to final as the table toppers after their five straight victories.
Sunil Dhamala top scored for the Titans with a 54-ball 61 that included six boundaries and two sixes, while skipper Pradeep Airee remained unbeaten on 33 off just 13 balls hitting a boundary and four sixes. Opener Muhammad Zaid Alam struck three fours in his 13-ball 20, while Lokesh Bam and Puneet Mehra contributed 19 each.
Dhamala and Mehra added 57 runs for the third wicket in the highest partnership of the match.
Harsh Tonk took two wickets for the Blasters, while Lalit Singh Bhandari and Abinash Bohara grabbed one each. The Blasters made a blistering start to their run chase with openers Aftabuddin Ahmed and Shankar Rana (four) scoring 53 runs inside five overs before they lost three wickets in the space of five runs. Ahmed scored a quick fire 43 off 22 balls hitting six boundaries and two sixes.
Bhim Sharki then fought a lonely battle scoring 34-ball 44 that included three fours and two sixes, while Shivam Singh (14) and Puran BK (15) were the other batsmen to contribute in double figures.
The Blasters needed 33 runs from the last three overs before Muhammad Zaid Alam turned the tide dismissing Samsad Sheikh in the first ball of the 18th over and Jitendra Mukhiya bowled a maiden over to all but seal the victory.
Puneet Mehra (3-17) and Shahab Alam (3-26) shared six wickets between them, while Kishore Mahato, Mukhiya and Alam grabbed one each for the Titans. On Wednesday, The Titans had raced to 136-6 in 11.overs in a match they needed to win inside 12.2 overs after the Blasters had posted 133-8.