Binod Bhandari played a captain’s knock blitzing with a 71-ball 98 as Sagarmatha Legends crushed a Paras Khadka-led Vishal Warriors by 107 runs in the inaugural day of a colourful Ncell Nepal Premier League (NPL) on Wednesday.
At the glitzy Fapla grounds in Dhangadhi, Bhandari blasted nine boundaries and four sixes that saw the Legends make a modest 242 all out with three balls to spare. Spinners set up the match for Legends.
bundling out Warriors for just 135 runs in 33.3 overs. U-19 batsman Raju Rijal top scored for Warriors with a 56-ball 37, while veteran all-rounder Manjeet Shrestha scored 34 off 42 with two fours and three sixes. Raju hit two fours and two sixes in his innings.
Skipper Paras was out for 22 off 25 where he hit four boundaries. Sumit Shrestha (16) was the only remaining batsman to make runs in double figures.
Lal Bahadur Adhikari (3-17) and Nischal Pandey (3-37) picked up six wickets between them for the Legends. Seamers Chandra Sawad and Mehboob Alam picked up two wickets each to provide early breakthroughs.
Earlier, Bhandari was the mainstay in Legends’ total who made merry at the pitch smashing the ball all across the park. Shankar Rana chipped in 30 off 40 with four fours, while Rupesh Srivastav (16), Sunil Dhamala (16), Rahul Kumar BK (15) and Anil Mandal (10) all made runs in double figures.
Ramnaresh Giri was the pick of the Warriors bowlers returning with the figures of 3-49 from 10 overs. Sushan Bhari Shrestha and Yagyaman Kumal picked up two wickets. Paras was hit for 44 runs in his four overs picking up just one wicket.
Bhandari was adjudged the man-of-the-match. Earlier, CAN President Tanka Aangbuhang and National Sports Council (NSC) Member Secretary Yubaraj Lama inaugurated the tournament.
Warriors are up against Gyanendra Malla-led Colors X Factor at the Kanchanpur cricket grounds, while Legends will meet Shakti Gauchan-led Jagadamba Giants at the Fapla grounds on Thursday.