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Paras hits tournament high as Chauraha set Kings date

Skipper Paras Khadka hit back to form in time as he notched up tournament’s second highest individual score scoring a 41-ball 67 not out as Team Chauraha Dhangadhi entered the final of the Sagarmatha Cement Dhangadhi Premier League on Thursday.

In a repeat of the league game, Chauraha defeated Shakti Gauchan’s Rupandehi Challengers by 92 runs in the second Qualifier to set a date with Sharad Vesawkar’s Biratnagar Kings for Saturday’s final.Electing to bat first, Paras’ whirlwind knock — studded with six boundaries and four sixes — saw Chauraha post 172-5 after they elected to bat first. Challengers, in reply, were bundled out for 80 in 15.2 overs.While Chauraha registered the biggest-margin victory in terms of runs, they went on to miss tournament’s highest team total of 173-5 by just a single runs. Kathmandu Goldens has the highest team total of the tournament against Biratnagar Kings in the league stage match.Chauraha had got off to a flying start after Raju Rijal and Anil Mandal (13) collected 29 runs in the first three overs. Raju made 25 off 28 balls with four boundaries, while Prithu Baskota (four) and Aarif Sheikh (seven) were the only batsmen not reaching double figures as Chauraha were reduced to 91-4 in 13.2 overs.But Paras received enough support from Amar Singh Routela (16) and Saurav Khanal that helped Chauraha post tournament’s second highest total. Saurav smashed four boundaries and two sixes in his eight-ball cameo of 24 not out.Paras and Saurav’s partnership fetched Chauraha 43 runs from the last 19 balls. After a collective batting effort, Chauraha managed to score 112 runs in the last 60 balls.

Krishna Karki picked up two wickets but was hammered for 40 runs, while debutant leg spinner Bikram Bhushal — 1-26 from four overs — was their most economical bowler. Shahab Alam had the figures of 1-21 from three overs.

Challengers collected 10 runs in the first over bowled by Ramnaresh Giri but once Aarif Sheikh bowled Shankar Rana (nine), their innings began to crumble. With a strong pace and spin attack of Chauraha to be dealt with, Challengers were undone particularly by the huge target they were set.

Rajesh Pulami Magar and Krishna top scored for them with 14 runs each. Rupandehi innings included four sixes and three boundaries. Pushpa Thapa (13) was their next best scorer. Lalit Rajbanshi and Saurav Khanal took three wickets each for Chauraha with Aarif Sheikh getting two scalps.

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