Left arm spinner Sushan Bhari Shrestha picked up the first hat-trick of Ncell Nepal Premier League (NPL) as Paras Khadka’s Vishal Warriors remained in hunt for the semi-finals with an eight-wicket demolition of Kantipur Gurkhas.
The win lifts Warriors to fourth in the points table after completing all their league stage matches. Warriors will now wait for their fate with Colors X-Factors and Gurkhas left to play their last game on Wednesday with both teams on two points.
At the Kanchanpur grounds, Bhari’s magical bowling saw Warriors pack up Gurkhas for just 95 runs in 29.3 overs before they cantered to victory in 20 overs at 99-2. Opener Raju Rijal and Deepesh Khatri eased the chase for Warriors with a 61-run stand after they lost another opener Nurdhoj Sen (two) with just 11 runs on board.
Raju made 36 off 65 with six boundaries and Deepesh was unbeaten on 27 off 45 with three boundaries and a six. Veteran all-rounder Manjeet Shrestha hastened to victory slamming three sixes in his six-ball cameo of 19.
Earlier, Gurkhas were 27 without loss in 9.2 overs with a 150 plus score on cards but Bhari had other ideas after Ravi Bhatta opened the floodgates removing opener Suman Shrestha (8). Coming to bowl in the 11th over, Bhari dismissed Antim Thapa (naught), Pradeep Airee and Surendra Chand in successive balls to bring the first hat-trick in NPL.
Ravi then continued the onslaught getting rid off Subash (13) and new man Santosh Bhatta (duck) in a single over as Gurkhas lost six wickets for just one run. Aakash Gupta and skipper Basanta Regmi (nine) avoided the humiliation for Gurkhas with a 31-run stand for the seventh wicket.
However, the collapse resumed after Bhari dismissed Aakash for 19 off 32. Aakash hit two fours and a six. Two overs later Paras bowled Basanta and Aakash Bista pushed Gurkhas close to triple figures making 25 off 25 hitting five boundaries. Bhari removed Gopal Singh and Lalit Singh Bhandari to carve a memorable day.
Man-of-the-match Bhari returned with the figures of 6-35 from 8.3 overs, a day after Bhuwan Karki of Panchkanya Tez had taken 6-40 against Colors X-Factors. Ravi finished with 3-27 from 10 overs as only four bowlers were used by Paras to make short work of Gurkhas.