There was no surprise from the build up to climax as
Chitwan Rhinos claimed the Pokhara Premier League title with a 32-run victory
over Biratnagar Titans on Saturday.
A team that already had former national team skipper
Paras Khadka as the marquee and captain, Rhinos had a sensational build up
after announcing their international recruitment in juggernauts Babar Hayat,
Rohan Mustafa and Sunny Patel.
Solid both in paper and performance, they hardly
gave anyone an outside chance to finish at the top of the table with five
consecutive victories in the league stage.
Titans had a roller coaster ride and after smashing
Butwal Blasters in the Eliminator they were expected to put on another show in
the final. But Paras-led killed off the game in the first innings amassing a
mammoth 202-5 in 20 overs.
Paras himself began the fireworks hitting Jitendra
Mukhiya for 22 runs in a single over before losing his wicket for an 11-ball 25.
Rhinos did lose Babar cheaply but a strong batting line up was never going to
be a trouble for them.
Anil Sah forged a match-winning 95-run partnership for the third wicket. Anil
played swiftly hitting three sixes and as many fours in his 34-ball 50. Rohan
continued his sublime form scoring a 43-ball 50 with three fours and a six.
Rhinos were 142-4 after losing Anil and Mustafa in a
single over and it was big-hitting Karan KC (eight-ball 26 not out), Aarif
Sheikh (19) and Sunny Patel (16 not out) who took the team across 200 runs.
Titans were dealt a huge blow when they lost opener
Sunil Dhamala and No 3 Lokesh Bam with just 16 runs on the board. Another
opener Mohammad Zaid Alam tried to put Titans in the game with an enterprising
half century but under pressure to chase a huge total, were stopped at 170-7.
Zaid made 57 off 48 with five fours and three sixes.
Pradeep Airee (36), Puneet Mehra (32) and Noman Khan (18) only prolonged
Rhinos’ wait for victory. Karan KC once again took three wickets for Rhinos
with Mustafa also picking up two wickets.
Chitwan Rhinos —- Rs 2.7 million
Biratnagar Titans —— Rs 1 million
Rohan Mustafa (Man-of-the-series) —- TVS
Gyanendra Malla (Best batsman) — TVS Motorcycle
Karan KC (Best bowler) — TVS Motorcycle
Lokesh Bam (Most valuable player) — Rs 100,000