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Amit guides Shantinagar to quarters, Challengers run riot over Malpokhari

Jan 30, 2018 | Cricketingnepal |

Man-of-the-match Amit Shrestha scored a half century as Shantinagar Youth Club advanced into the quarter-finals of the Khukuri Challenger Twenty20 cricket tournament edging Kathmandu Cricket Training Centre (KCTC) at the Mulpani Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

Shantinagar made a challenging 159-6 in 20 overs and survived a late scare from Sanjay Basnet restricting KCTC to 153-6. In another Group ‘A’ game, RCA Pyuthan Challengers strengthened their position to reach the last eight with a 117-run drubbing of Malpokhari Cricket Club.

Shantinagar, who finished their league campaign unbeaten, topped the pool with 10 points from four games. Challengers have seven points from four games leading KCTC by three points and a healthy net run rate. KCTC now need to beat Ultimate Indoor Cricket by a handsome margin to leapfrog Challengers.

The evenly-fought second match of the day saw Amit rescue his side with a 57-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Kushal Bhurtel after Shantinagar were reeling at 89-5 at one stage. Amit made 51 off 52 with five boundaries and Bhurtel scored 25 from 16, also hitting five fours.

Yogendra Karki (17) and Manjeet Shrestha (16) were other batsmen to make runs in double figures. Nandan Yadav and Adil Khan took two wickets each for KCTC.

Opener Sudhir Chaudhary made some quick runs scoring 27 off 16 as KCTC got off to a desired start in their chase. But they went on to lose three wickets in a space of 16 runs, reduced to 50-3. Bibek Rana Magar and Khan staged a comeback for KCTC with a 71-run partnership. Mukund Yadav calmed the nerves removing both batsmen in a space of six runs.

Sanjay then gave some nervy moments to Shantinagar smashing three sixes in his 12-ball 25 not out but Shantinagar nicely negotiated in the final over. Bibek made 41 off 34 with four boundaries and a six, while Adil hit a 29-ball 39 with three sixes and one hit to the fence. Sunil Dhamala also took two wickets for Shantinagar.

Challengers needed a big margin victory and their top three batsmen delivered guiding them to a tournament-high 193-2 in 20 overs. Rajbir Singh was the real menace as he smashed seven sixes and as many boundaries in a 58-ball 93 not out. Man-of-the-match Rajbir then returned with the ball to take 4-15 from four overs as Malpokhari were 76 all out in 16.4 overs.

Yagyaman Kumal also had three scalps. Gaurav Katwal (24 not out) was the only Malpokhari batsman to stage some fight and Bishal Acharya (14) was the remaining batsman to make runs cross double digits.

Shubhend Pandey gave Challengers a rocking start smashing 45 off 20 as another opener Prem Tamang was the calm ally in their 61-run opening wicket partnership. Shubhendu hit seven boundaries and two sixes.

Rajbir stepped in and together with Prem shared 98 runs for second wicket. Prem made 39 off 36 with seven boundaries. Bhoj Bhatta and Sameer Sapkota took a wicket each for Malpokhari.



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