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Blasters hunt down Rhinos; Royals win

Butwal Blasters thumped Chitwan Rhinos by 70 runs, while Hulas Kathmandu Royals defeated Expert Dhangadhi Blues by 17 runs in the second day matches of the Pokhara Premier League here today.


In the first match, Blasters posted 135-6 in their allotted 20 overs before packing Rhinos — led by national team skipper Paras Khadka — for a paltry 65 runs in 16.5 overs at the Pokhara Stadium grounds.

Blasters recovered from a precarious position of 10-3 to post the fighting total, thanks to sensible knocks from Sagar Pun and Shankar Rana. They shared a 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket to steady the innings before Pun was dismissed for 46 off 48 balls that included three fours and two sixes.

Rana and Siddhant Lohani then added 50 runs for the fifth wicket to take the team to a fighting total. Rana struck five fours and a six in his 41-ball 48, while Lohani remained unbeaten on 17 off 15 balls with the help of two boundaries.

Karan KC took 2-22 from four overs, while Ram Naresh Giri and Shakti Prasad Gauchan claimed one wicket each for Rhinos.

In reply, Rhinos lost openers Anil Kumar Sah and Sonu Tamang — both for naught — with just 10 runs on the board and never recovered.

No 10 batsman Bhuvan Karki top scored with 19, while skipper Paras Khadka (10) was the only other batsman to reach double-figure mark.

Skipper Sompal Kami, who removed his counterpart Khadka and Aarif Sheikh in two consecutive balls in the third over, was the pick of the Blasters bowlers taking 4-13 from four overs and that also earned him the man-of-the-match award. Lalit Singh Bhandari claimed 2-13, while Rohan Mustafa, Bipin Khatri and Avinash Bohara pocketed one wicket each.

In another match, Royals’ innings revolved around Gaurav Yudhveer Tomar, who fell five runs short of century. Royals posted 180-3 in 20 overs, while Blues managed 163-8.

After losing opener Amit Shrestha (12) at the team total of 30 runs, Tomar and added 51 runs for the second innings with Jaykrishan Kolsawal (25) and shared another 96-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Naresh Budayair. The Indian cricketer Tomar struck four boundaries and 10 sixes in his 95 off just 44 balls, while Budayair remained unbeaten on 36 off 24 balls that included two each fours and sixes.  Peter Trego, Sagar Dhakal and Dipendra Singh Airee took one wicket each for Blues.

In reply, Blues skipper Airee scored a half century and Sandeep Jhora hit a fiery 11-ball 27 but that was not enough for them to avert the defeat. Airee struck three each fours and sixes in his 42-ball 54, while Jhora hit a boundary and three sixes. Sandeep Sunar (11), Trego (19), Dilip Nath (10) and Saurav Khanal (17) got starts but they failed to convert them into big knocks.

Amar Singh Routela (2-19), Sushan Bhari (2-37) and Basant Regmi (2-29) shared six wickets among them, while Nandan Yadav and man-of-the-match Tomar took one wicket each.

On Sunday, Biratnagar Titans will face Expert Dhangadhi Blues, while Butwal Blasters will take on Pokhara Paltan.

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