X-Factors, Rhinos register hard-fought victories

Kathmandu, September 27

Colors X-Factors and Jagadamba Rhinos recorded their first wins in the Wai Wai Everest Premier League here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium today.

X-Factors recorded a hard-fought nine-run win against Sagarmatha Legends, while Rhinos outplayed Kantipur Gurkhas by 11 runs.

Half centuries from Rajesh Pulami Magar and skipper Gyanendra Malla helped X-Factors set a target of 169 runs before they restricted the Legends to 159/6. After being invited to bat first, X-Factors scored a mammoth 168-6 in 20 overs.

Pulami scored a quick fire 38-ball 56 and Malla hit 52 off just 37 balls. Pulami and Malla added 91 runs for the third wicket and both they each struck four boundaries and two sixes.

Opener Hari Shankar Shah (13) was caught by Shankar Rana off Mehboob Alam in the 4.4 overs with just 28 runs on the board. Alam also dismissed Faizal khan (12-ball 21), caught by Sunil Dhamala in the third ball of the seventh over. Khan slammed a four and a six, while Shah hit a boundary.

Player-of-the-match Malla and Pulami increased the tempo to ensure their team put on enough runs on the board after the departure of Shah and Khan. Bikram Sob pocketed two wickets for Legends, while Rupesh Shrivastav and Rahul Vishwakarma took one each.

In reply, Legends openers Dhamala and Anil Mandal scored 43 runs inside seven overs before the latter was run out by Malla for 14 runs. After Shankar Rana (one) was out cheaply, Dhamala and Binod Bhandari added 29 runs for the third wicket. Dhamala scored 46 off just 36 balls that included five hits to the fence before being dismissed by Yogender Karki.

Bhandari and Alam then added 42 runs for the fourth wicket to take the team past three figures. Alam hit a four and two boundaries in his 17-ball 23, while Bhandari scored a quick fire 48 off just 28 balls that included three fours and four sixes.

Legends were on track until the 18th over with the team needing 23 runs in the last two overs with six wickets in hand. But they lost Bikram Sob (11) and hard-hitting Bhandari in the 19th over bowled by Avinash Karna and that took the match away from them.

In another match, Rhinos scored 124-8 and restricted Gurkhas to 113-8. Rhinos were reeling at 52-4 in 9.3 overs despite Shubhendu Pandey (21) and Hasim Ansari (18) scoring in double digits. Sompal Kami and Amit Shrestha (16) anchored the innings with a 56-run stand for fifth wicket.

Kami top scored with 30-ball 44 with the help of four sixes before becoming the victim of Basnata Regmi in the last ball of the innings. Regmi claimed three wickets, while Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi pocketed two and Lalit Bhandari took one.

Gurkhas had disastrous run chase as they were reduced to 29-4 inside six overs. Except for Sandeep Jhora, others failed to contribute significantly with the bat as the team crumbled.

Jhora remained remained unbeaten on 42 off just 28 balls hitting two fours and two sixes. Skipper Shakti Gauchan, Pawan Sharraf, and Prem Tamang claimed two wickets each, while player-of-the-match Kami and Shah Alam picked up one wicket apiece for Rhinos.

Tez lead the six-team competition with four points, while Vishal Warriors and Gurkhas have three points each. Rhinos and X-Factors are further behind with two points apiece, while Legends are yet to open their accounts.