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EPL: Gurkhas hammer Legends

Kathmandu, September 26, 2016: Openers Pradeep Airee and Subash Khakurel wreaked havoc as Kantipur Gurkhas crushed Sagarmatha Legends by seven wickets to go at the top of the Wai Wai Everest Premier League (EPL) table on Sunday.

After watching their first match against Vishal Warriors washed out due to heavy rain on Saturday, Gurkhas needed an impetus to stake their claims for the top two spot. Their bowlers set the tone for them restricting Legends to 124-9 in 20 overs. Airee and Khakurel did the rest as their 81-run stand guided Gurkhas to 125-3 in 15 overs.

Legends fast bowlers had a bad day at office after Airee and Khakurel played them with sensibility and aggression. Airee was Gurkhas’ man-of-the-match scoring a 38-ball 59 with seven fours and two sixes. Khakurel was first Gurkhas wicket to fall for 35 off 28 that included six hits to the fence.

Airee was out in the 12th over but his dismissal only prolonged Gurkhas wait for victory as they were just 33 runs sigh of victory target. Anil Sah (14) and Aakash Gupta (11) sealed the victory with an unbroken 19-run stand. Left arm spinner Rahul Kumar BK picked up all three Gurkhas wickets to fall.

“The match went according to our plans. We wanted to restrict Legends to a mediocre total and we were able to do that. Subash and Pradeep are experienced openers and they gave us the start that we had wanted. The game was easier than we were expecting,” said Gurkhas skipper Basanta Regmi.

Earlier, it was Regmi who tightened the screws by picking up 3-13 from four overs that included the prized scalps of Anil Mandal and skipper Binod Bhandari. Legends had a modest start after Sunil Dhamala and Sandeep Sunar added 27 runs for the first wicket.

But after Lalit Singh Bhandari dismissed Sunar (11) their innings took the slide. Regmi bowled Mandal (one) and Dhamala was next to go for 21 off 34 that included a six and a four. Mehboob Alam top scored with 23 runs, while Bikram Sob (14), Dilip Nath (12) and Bhandari (11) were other batsmen to make runs in double figures.

Apart from Regmi, Lalit and Santosh Bhatta also picked up two wickets each for Gurkhas. Legends skipper Bhandari was clueless after the defeat. “I cannot really find where it all went wrong for us,” said Bhandari.

“Our openers had a good start but they couldn’t capitalise, the middle order also failed including myself. The fast bowling department was fine but it didn’t work and the spinners didn’t give me the confidence to operate them at will. We began with a defeat but I would say it has given us a good lesson,” said Bhandari.

Tez see off Rhinos in thriller

Panchakanya Tez overcame a spectacular allround performance from Sompal Kami  of Jagdamba Rhinos to record a thrilling six-wicket win in the Everest  Premier League twenty20 tournament on Sunday.

After the opening day washout, the tournament started in earnest with a  thrilling contest that saw Rhinos score 129-4 in 20 overs. Tez repled with 133-4 in 19 overs. Put into the bat, Rhinos openers Mahesh Chhetry and Amit Shrestha  made cautious start as they put on 33 runs for the first wicket. Chhetri  scored a 32-ball 30 with five boundaries while Shrestha made 10 off 20  balls. Rhinos were finding it hard to score runs freely as they could only  manage 59-4 by the 13.3 overs when their fourth wicket Hasim Ansari (0)  fell.

But in came Kami and together with skipper Shakti Gauchan put on a 70  runs in just 39 ball in an unbroken stand fifth wicket stand. Kami  was ruthless especially in the last three balls when he hit  Karan KC for consecutive sixes.

Kami remained unbeaten on 43, his 20-ball cameo included four sixes and two  fours. Gauchan made 29 from 23 balls.  Man-of-the-match Sushil Kandel was pick of the Tez bowlers with 3-12 off three overs.

Kami returned to shake Tez once again with his fiery first over spell which yielded two wickets without conceding a run. But a marvellous 63-run third wicket stand between Prithu Baskota and skipper Sharad Vesawkar not only pulled Tez out of the trouble but also laid the foundation for victory. Baskota top scored with 46-ball 48 with four fours and two sixes, while Vesawkar made 27 off 25 balls.

Aarif Sheikh (33) and Dipendra Airee (17) then completed the chase.