Bhairahawa Gladiators defeated Kathmandu Kings XI by six wickets to advance to the final of the TVS Everest Premier League here at the TU Stadium today.
Batting first in the second Qualifier match, Kings were bowled out for a paltry 100 runs in 20 overs before the Gladiators raced to 102-4 with 18 balls to spare. Gladiators will now face Lalitpur Patriots in Saturday’s final. The Patriots had defeated Gladiators by one wicket in the low scoring first Qualifier match on Tuesday.
The Kings came under pressure with the loss of early wickets and they never recovered. Kushal Malla was the chief destroyer as he claimed three of the first four wickets that wrecked Kings innings. Kings were reduced to 37-4 in 10 overs. Malla claimed the prized wicket of Kevin O’Brien and opener Amit Shrestha along with Naresh Budhayer. Gladiators skipper Sharad Vesawkar accounted for his Kings counterpart Rohan Mustafa.
The 33-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Pardeep Sahu and Sandeep Rajali was the highest stand in Kings innings. They lost the last six wickets for just 30 runs in five overs. Rajali top scored for Kings with 26-ball 27 hitting one each four and six, while Sahu scored 25 off 22 balls that included three boundaries. Opener Amit Shrestha (13) was the only other batsman who scored in double figures.
Malla returned with the figures of 3-20, while Mohammad Naveed took 2-20. Gladiators skipper Vesawkar and Avinash Bohara also took one wicket each.
In reply, Gladiators lost opener Pradeep Airee (three) with just 10 runs on the board, while Aarif Sheikh (five) was also dismissed cheaply. Another opener Ryan ten Doeschate and Ravi Inder Singh steadied the innings with a 42-run partnership for the third wicket.
Ten Doeschate top scored for Gladiators with 38-ball 45 hitting five boundaries, while Singh clobbered three fours and a six in his 19-ball 31. After the fall of both the batsmen, skipper Vesawkar (six) and Rohit Kumar Paudel (nine) took the team home. Samshad Sheikh took 2-30 for Kings, while Pardeep Sahu claimed one wicket.