Kantipur Gurkhas sneaked past Vishal Warriors and Colors X-Factors on net run rate as all four team in the semi-final of the Ncell Nepal Premier League (NPL) have been confirmed on Wednesday.
Gurkhas defeated table topper Panchakanya Tez by five wickets in a must-win game at the Kanchanpur grounds that saw them level with Paras Khadka-led Warriors and Gyanendra Malla captained-Colors X Factors on four points from five matches. Gurkhas then got the better of two teams on run rate that ensured a terrible NPL campaign for national team’s skipper and the vice-captain.
It was Tez’ second back-to-back loss in the tournament but they finished the league campaign at the top on run rate after being tied on six points with Binod Bhandari-led Sagarmatha Legends and Giants. Tez will once again meet fourth-placed Gurkhas in the semi-final on Thursday. Giants will meet Legends in Kanchanpur.
Gurkhas managed to bundle out Tez for just 127 runs in 38.2 overs after part time bowlers Aakash Gupta and Pradeep Airee shared six wickets between them. Pradeep hammered 45 off 40 with seven fours and two sixes as Gurkhas reached 131-5 in 28.2 overs.
Skipper Basanta Regmi contributed invaluable 38 off 41 with five fours and two sixes, while Antim Thapa made 24 off 59 with one four and a six. Earlier, Aakash picked up 4-21 from five overs to punish Tez who had raced into the semi-finals winning all their first three matches.
Pradeep took 2-20 from 7.2 overs. Indra Kamal Manandhar was the only Tez batsman to stay long at the crease making 37 off 88 with two fours and a six. Sharad Vesawkar (15), Binod Das (12) and Aarif Sheikh (12) also made runs but that was not enough to stop the Gurkhas.