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Lions leapfrog Cheetahs in Pokhara

Downtown Pokhara Lions leapfrogged Informatics College Cheetahs following a huge 43-run victory over the table toppers of the Machhapuchhre League on Friday.

A half century from tournament’s biggest earner Sudeep Poudel led Lions to 131-8 in 20 overs before three wickets each from Lal Bahadur Gurung and Raju Gurung had Cheetahs bundle out for 88 in 12.5 overs.

Lions and Cheetahs are tied on six points each from three games with the former leading on net run rate. Machhapuchhre Lions, Parbat Titans – two matches each – and KKAF Syangja Challengers have three points each with the latter playing one game more.

After the Gurung trio – including Biru Gurung – wreaked havoc from the top to lower middle order, Cheetahs kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Sudeep then polished off the tail picking up two wickets in five balls to hand Lions a handsome victory.

The only positive in the match for Cheetahs was a 42-run fourth wicket partnership between their highest scorers Vinay Bhandari and Kiran Pun. Vinay, who had made 44 runs in the match against Machhpuchhre Lions on Thursday, made 38 from 23 with seven fours and a six. Kiran scored 20 from 11 with three sixes.

Earlier, Sudeep led the batting charge with a 52-run third wicket partnership with Arun Adhikari (14). Sudeep struck exactly 50 hitting six fours and two boundaries in his 38-ball 50. Raju Gurung was their next best scorer with 26 off 24 that included two boundaries and a six.

Opener A Baral (14) also made runs in double figures. Santosh K Shrestha was the pick of the Cheetahs bowlers taking 3-21 from four overs.

In the second match of the day, Challengers lost their second game in three matches going down to Parbat Titans by 40 runs. Titans were 112 all out but had their bowlers to thank for after bundling out Challengers for just 72 runs in 17.2 overs.

Raju Thapa (4-4) and Suraj Shrestha (4-11) shared eight wickets between them for Titans. Ashok Shrestha and Bishwa Thapa had a partnership of 35 runs for the second wicket and their dismissal was next to the end of Challengers innings.

Ashok made 20 form 18 balls with two sixes and Bishwa hit two sixes and a four in his 24-ball 18. None other Challengers batsmen were able to make runs in double figures. Paras Lamichhane and Agendra Chhantyal also picked up a wicket each for Titans.

Titans didn’t have big scorers but Shahil Karki’s 31 and Abhishek Thapa’s 21 was enough for them to do the job. Shahil made 31 off 27 with two sixes and as many boundaries, while Abhishek scored 21 from 31 with two sixes.

Deepen Raymaji (10) and Ramesh Basnet (12) also made runs in double figures for Titans. Suraj Gurung and Om Gurung took three wickets each for Challengers, while Ashok got rid of two batsmen.

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