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Pokhara suffer first defeat with Babar's fireworks

Dec 17, 2019 | CN Staff |

Defending champions Pokhara Paltan suffered their first defeat in the Pokhara Premier League after they crashed to tournament's low total in a six-wicket loss to Chitwan Rhinos.

Batting first at the Pokhara Cricket Stadium, Paltan were bundled out for 107 runs in exactly 20 overs. Kathmandu Golden Warriors' 115 against Paltan was tournament's lowest total prior to this game. Fast bowler Rashid Khan gave a desired start to Paltan after getting openers Anil Kumar Sah (duck) and Rohan Mustafa (11) caught behind the wicket off Binod Bhandari.

But with a long batting line up including big hitting Babar Hayat to deal with and a low total to defend to, Paltan couldn't stop Rhinos from reaching 108-4 from 14.5 overs.

Babar was unbeaten on 66 from 42 balls with six fours and four sixes. He shared 50 not out runs for the fifth wicket with Sunny Patel who struck an unbeaten 22 off 18 with two sixes and a four. Rashid Khan and Sarabjeet Ladda took two wickets each for Paltan.

Skipper Paras Khadka (four) and Aarif Sheikh (one) were unable to trouble the scorecard with both batsmen losing their wicket to Ladda while playing a big shot. Ladda was hit for 48 runs in four overs. Babar alone hit him for four sixes.      

Earlier in the morning conditions, skipper Paras Khadka's decision to bat first was vindicated by Rhinos' strong bowling attack with Sunny Patel removing Sunday's half centurion Kushal Bhurtel (five) and Bikram Sob getting rid of Asif Sheikh (10) with just 19 runs on the board.

Captain Sharad Vesawkar and shared 24 runs for the third wicket with Ravi Inder Singh (10) before Paras had the latter playing on to his stumps. Binod Bhandari (seven) was undone by a low diving catch at long off, off Bhuwan Karki.

Sharad and Kushal Malla (13) then notched up Paltan's highest partnership of the day adding 36 runs for the fifth wicket. Rhinos, however, kept on Paltan batting on check with some tight bowling and had new man Rohit Kumar Paudel run out for a duck.

After taking some time to settle, Sharad played some blistering shots before he fell in the 18th over making a 39-ball 45. He struck three sixes and as many boundaries. Kushal hit two sixes and Rashid Khan (10) also struck one to take Paltan close to 110.

Sunny bowled a tight line and picked up 2-15 from four overs with one maiden. Rohan (2-22) and Bhuwan Karki (2-16) also shared four wickets between them. Karan KC also took a wicket for Rhinos.


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