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Warriors clear favourites against Patriots

Dec 07, 2018 | CN Staff |

Paras Khadka’s Biratnagar Warriors will be clear favourite against Gyanendra Malla-led Lalitpur Patriots when the most-awaited franchise cricket tournament of the country Everest Premier League (EPL) begins on Saturday with an updated version.

The inclusion of some of the high-profile cricketers from Associate cricket has already spiced up the build-up to the tournament and the wait will be over when two Dutch cricketers take to the field for defending champions Warriors against an equally strong looking Patriots side which has kept faith on an Indian trio with a haul of experience in Nepali domestic franchise leagues.


Wicketkeeper batsman Jay Kishan Kolsawala along with allrounders Sunny Patel and Gaurav Tomar are Patriots international signing with the first two already familiar to Nepali conditions and players. Sunny, a leg break bowler effective with the new ball, has already featured in all three domestic leagues of Nepal including EPL, Dhangadhi Premier League and Pokhara Premier League.


While Kolsawala missed the DPL but played in the EPL and PPL, Tomar is the new addition among foreign cricketers playing in Nepal. He played under Gyanendra in the PPL where he collected 258 runs with two half centuries.


In a squad led by country’s classical batsman Gyanendra, Kushal Bhurtel, Sandeep Jora, Shankar Rana, Sonu Tamang, Pawan Sarraf and Sonu Tamang will bolster the batting order among the domestic players. Along with Sunny, Nepali spinner Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi and Rashid Khan will take charge of the bowling attack.


Patriots will try to make the most of teen leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane who will only two matches for the franchise before leaving for Australia to feature in the Big Bash League. “We want to make a winning start in the tournament,” said Gyanendra during the trophy unveiling ceremony in Kathmandu on Thursday.


But in front of his side will be Paras’ Warriors who have included experienced former South African and current Dutch cricketer Roelof van der Merwe and Paul van Meekeren. Warriors also have last season’s player-of-the-series Babar Hayat in their squad but the Hong Kong cricketer will miss the first match owing to his international duty.


In absence of Babar, India’s 2012 U-19 World Cup winner Smit Patel will get the best opportunity to prove his mettle. Patel played for Chitwan Rhinos under Paras in the PPL where he had given a decent performance with both bat and ball.


Warriors still look strong without their foreign recruits boasting the presence of veteran spinner Basanta Regmi, emerging cricketer Anil Sah, fast bowling allrounder Karan KC, seamer Ramnaresh Giri and Aasif Sheikh to name a few. 


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