Nepal’s national captain, Paras Khadka and Biratnagar Warriors Hong Kong recruit, Anshuman Rath came good for Biratnagar, as they managed to clinch a tense thriller against Pokhara Rhinos to secure their 2nd consecutive victory in the 2017 TVS EPL.
Biratnagar put Pokhara into bat first and the openers, Sunil Dhamala (18 off 23) and Israrullah (21 off 16) provided a brisk start before Khadka broke through the partnership and picked up Israrullah and Binod Bhandari in the same over and when Basant Regmi got Asif Ali in the 5th over, Pokhara were struggling at 37/3.
Rajesh Pulami (30 off 35) stayed firm at one end but runs were not coming freely as Dhamala departed in the 11th over. Pokhara lost 2 more quick wickets to be at 89/6 in the 16th over. However, Saurav Khanal (16 n.o off 19) and Taj Wali (18 n.o off 15) got through the last 4 overs without losing wicket and took Pokhara to 122/6 in their 20 overs.
Entire Biratnagar innings drama was happening at one end with wickets falling regularly and Anshuman Rath playing in his own comfort at the other end to take them closer to the target.
Only Babar Hayat (22 off 19) managed to give Rath company for sometime as Sushan Bhari (2/20 off 4), Israrullah (2/10 off 4), Shakthi Gauchan (1/15 off 3) & Sunil Dhamala (1/15 off 2) made it difficult for other to score and only Rath managing to counter them with strokes all-round.
The defining moment in the match came when Israrullah ran out Rath in the 19th over with Biratnagar still requiring 10 runs off 8 deliveries. Rath departed for a well complied half-century scoring 60 runs off 61 deliveries.
Pranit Thapa Magar was the hero of the day for Biratnagar as he blasted a boundary off Gauchan in the final over and finished off the match with 2 balls to spare as Biratnagar reached 123/7 in 19.4 overs to win the close match.