After a disastrous start in the Ncell Nepal Premier League (NPL) national team vice-captain Gyanendra Malla-led Colors X-Factors won their fifth and final league match under pressure but the team failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
The match at the Fapla grounds began in X-Factors favour when their bowlers kept picking up wickets at regular intervals before bundling out Jagdamba Giants for just 136 runs in 43.2 overs. With run-rate factor playing all over X-Factors’ batsmen, they raced to 139 in just 26.1 overs but in the process lost nine wickets.
X-Factors leapfrogged Paras Khadka’s Vishal Warriors in the points table to go fifth but after Kantipur Gurkhas defeated Panchakanya Tez comfortably by five wickets, they remained at the fifth on run rate, thus losing the semi-final spot.
It was overall a disastrous outing for Paras and Gyanendra but particularly on X-Factors who failed to make any mark in the tournament despite having an experienced lot of cricketers.
Faizlur Rehman Khan was among those experienced lot who pole vaulted X-Factors’ chase smashing five boundaries and five sixes taking the team to 67-1 in 7.2 overs. But after they lost Faizlur, no other batsmen managed to play with the aggression shown by Faizlur, who lost his wicket making 56 off just 27 balls – 50 off his runs coming in boundaries.
Rajesh Pulami made 21 off 20 with two fours and Gyanendra scored 19 off 12 with two fours and a six but Shakti Gauchan bowled a tight spell that ultimately profited Gurkhas. Som Pal Kami picked up 4-37, while Shakti and Suvankar Sanyashi picked up two wickets each.
Earlier, Amit Shrestha and Hashim Ansari were the only Giants batsmen to show some resilience after Kumar Thapa and Sanjam Regmi took grip of the match picking up three wickets each. Amit made 35 off 56 with three fours and two sixes, while Hashim hit three boundaries and a six in his 36 off 56.
Shakti Gauchan frustrated X-Factors bowlers making 19 off 62 in his boundary-less innings. Man-of-the-match and Raj Mohammad also picked up two wickets each for X-Factors.