Karnali Premier League Twenty20 : Karnali shock Armymen to enter last four

Kathmandu, 30 April 2019

Karnali XI stunned Tribhuvan Army Club by 11 runs to enter the semi-finals of  the Karnali Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Kalinchowk  Cricket Grounds in Surkhet on Monday.

Karnali scored 156-7 in 20 overs and restricted the Army club to 145-8 in 20  overs. Karnali total was built around top four batsmen, especially the No 4 Lokesh  Bam, who slammed  a half century. Openers Pradeep Rasaili and Rabindra Jung Sahi  gave a blistering start, putting on 52 runs for the first wicket. Susan Bhari  broke the stand having Rasaili caught by Binod Bhandari in 7.5 overs. Rasaili  scored 27-ball 34 with three fours and a six.

Kushal Malla then got rid of Sahi, who made 28-ball 23, in the 11th over as  Army appeared to put brakes on Karnali run feast. But what unfolded caught the  Army club totally offguard as Bam and Jitendra Singh Thakuri put on 75-run  third wicket stand in just 45 balls. Bam clobbered 30-ball 50 with six fours  and two sixes, while Thakuri contributed 30 off 25 deliveries. Bhari returned  with figures of 5-16 off four overs, while Jitendra Mukhiya and Malla took one  wicket each.

Army made a worst possible start in their chase losing opener Anil Kumar Mandal  for a duck. Binod Bhandari and Hari Bahadur Chauhan resurrected Army’s  innings with an 85-run partnership for the second wicket. But as soon as the  two batsmen were sent packing, Army lost their way and were eventually  restricted for 145 runs. Bhandari scored 55, his 42-ball knock included nine  fours and a six, while Chauhan made a fluent 37-ball 38 with six hits to the  fence. Man-of-the-match Sahi and Krishna Karki claimed three wickets each for  Karnali. Kishore Mahato and Thakuri also took one wicket each.

Earlier in the first match of the day, Mahendranagar Cricket Club beat  Himalayan Cricket Academy by five runs. Batting first, Mahendranagar scored  151-5 and Himalayan replied with 146-7 in 20 overs.

Middle order batsmen Kiran Thagunna and Dinesh Agri rescued Mahendranagar from early trouble with their flamboyant knocks. Mahendranagar were reeling at 88-5  in 15 overs but man-of-the-match Thagunna and Agri put on unbroken 63-runs  sixth wicket stand in just 30 balls to propel their total. Thagunna  scored 41  off 31 balls with three fours and two sixes, while Agri hit 16-ball 33 with  five fours and a six. Sharad Khadka took two while Sandip Khadka and Pawan  Karki claimed one wicket each for Himalayan Academy.

In reply, Padam KC fought a lonely battle for Himalayan Academy as the opener  scored run-a-ball 50. Himalayan were undone by lack of a good partnership as  wickets kept tumbling at one end. Dipendra Airee’s late 18-ball cameo almost  bailed out Himalayan from the jaws of defeat. But they still fell six runs  short of their target. Airee slammed 18-ball 29 with two sixes and a four but his knock all went in vain. Aakash Chand and Bikram Thagunna claimed two  wickets each for Mahendranagar.

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