National team explosive batsman Binod Bhandari-led Sagarmatha Legends entered the semi-finals of the Ncell Nepal Premier League (NPL) with a slim two-wicket victory over table topper Panchakanya Tez on Tuesday.
Legends remained in the third spot with six points from five matches and their closest contenders Vishal Warriors are fourth with four points finishing all their league stage matches. The last league matches on Wednesday will determine the final team to make it into the last four with Warriors, Kantipur Gurkhas and Colors X-Factors all in hunt.
While Paras Khadka-led Warriors wait for their fate despite not being in action on Wednesday, X-Factors will meet Jagdamba Giants and Gurkhas are up against Tez. If both bottom teams win their respective matches, the three teams will battle on run rate. Tez and second-placed Giants were already through on Tuesday.
In a bowlers’ day at the Fapla grounds in Dhangadhi, Sharad Vesawkar-led Tez were bundled out for just 84 runs in 27.1 overs. Rahul Kumar BK (3-6), Nischal Pandey (2-10), Mehboob Alam (2-16) and Chandra Saud (2-16) destroyed Tez innings that never managed to build on good partnership.
Opener Sunny Pun top scored with 18 runs from 19 balls with three boundaries, while Sharad (15), Aarif Sheikh (10), Bhuwan Karki (13) and Sonu Tamang (11) had scores in double figures.
Legends had similar game when they kept losing wickets up front before Sharad broke their backbone with three middle order scalps. Rahul and Chandra sailed the team home making 16 runs each.
Man-of-the-match Chandra hit three fours in his unbeaten 28-ball innings, while Rahul hit two sixes and a four. Mehboob Alam (15) and Dilip Nath (12) were other notable contributors for Legends. Apart from Sharad, Bhuwan also took two wickets. Binod Das, Karan KC and Aarif had one victim each.