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From underdogs to title contenders, Attariya pose huge threat

Feb 14, 2019 | Eddie Van Brooks |

On paper, CYC Attariya were termed as the weakest team of the Dhangadhi Premier League considering the number of players they bought in the auction on January 6.


Dipendra Singh Airee, now a settled name in national cricket team's batting order, was the only established domestic star as strategic player in the Attariya squad that is largely comprised of young and untested players.

Aadil Ansari, Gyanendra Kunwar, Khagendra Joshi, Rit Gautam, Jitendra Singh Thakuri and Dipendra Rawat are few of the unknown names for many in the squad that also includes Ramnaresh Giri, Bhuwan Karki, Prem Tamang, Shubhendu Pandey, Sandeep Jora and Kamal Singh Airee.

Anyone would write off Attariya which has so far not been able to even entering the final of the tournament. It was only after the inclusion of Nepali domestic cricket's sensational foreign name Sunny Patel and his compatriot Jaykishan Kolsawala that Attariya were expected to be at least competent.

Not usually aggressive, Kolsawala can play aggressive knock at times but anchoring the innings has been his usual trait. And Sunny has earned himself a name as flamboyant allrounder who can effectively spin with the new ball and display his power-hitting prowess.

Sunny's performance was decisive when Attariya stunned two-time defending champions Dhangadhi Stars by five runs. Their slim-margin victory would not make them a big team but the narrow win in defence of 96 runs is what it takes to keep their performance in mind.

Sunny had pushed the team close to triple figures against Stars making a 28-ball 35 and then returned to take 2-17 to prove pivotal in Attariya's victory. But it was not all about Sunny though.

At a slow Fapla pitch, there was left arm spinner Bhuwan who demolished the middle and lower middle order picking up 4-10 from four overs.

There was also Kamal Singh Airee who, despite being hit for 10 runs in the first three balls of the last over, held his nerve to defend 18 runs in the last over. There was this new Dipendra with the ball picking up 1-15 from four overs without missing his length.


Attariya have looked menacing with the ball, particularly with their spin attack led by Sunny, Dipendra, Dipendra Rawat and Bhuwan Karki. Their test was against pre-tournament favourites Rupandehi Challengers on Thursday.

A franchise that splashed huge to bring in three players with maximum bid limit in the auction, Challengers came into the match against Attariya with two consecutive victories. They boast a strong batting line-up that consists of Hong Kong attacking batsman Babar Hayat, India's Puneet Mehra, Nepali star Binod Bhandari and Bhim Sharki along with Pradeep Airee as an opener.

And a bowling attack led by Far-West's favourite Lalit Singh Bhandari and skipper Basanta Regmi himself. But Thursday they got the taste of Fapla and an example of what a collective team effort is and what Dipendra Singh Airee particularly is.

Dipendra proved the difference as he led the fight with an excellent display of batting to score 67 off 50 lifting Attariya to 121 in 20 overs. His innings could be one of the best in domestic Twenty20 considering a tough Fapla pitch. But while he was building the team's total, Rit was serving from the other end as a good helping hand in a 57-run third wicket stand. Rit's 12 runs were crucial.

And then came Attariya's brilliance with the ball. In a collective effort, Sunny, who dismissed Pradeep (14) and Babar Hayat (first-ball duck), Bhuwan, Dipendra and Dipendra Rawat took two wickets each to bundle out Challengers for just 82.


The change in result is because the entire squad is pumped up. An ordinary-looking squad is galvanized by a strong supporting staff that has South African Ryan Maron as the coach and cricket's fielding legend Jhonty Rhodes as their mentor.

The untested youth of Attariya are leased a new life of excitement and they take to the field with a body language that looks superior of all. And the handy contributions made by big names will influence the upcoming youngsters. Dipendra Rawat's consistent performance in a pitch that supports him is one fine example.

Attariya might have begun the DPL campaign as clear underdogs but now they firmly lead the points table with two consecutive victories and a healthy net run rate. For other teams, the real threat now looms. 



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