Skipper Paras Khadka ran riot missing century by one run but led Vishal Warriors to a convincing 25-run victory over Sagarmatha Legends in the Wai Wai Everest Premier League .
Paras was at the center of Warriors innings that had a snail-paced start before the national team skipper launched his onslaught smashing 10 huge sixes in his 45-ball 99 guiding the team to tournament-high 174-4. Legends were restricted to 149-5 with opener Sunil Dhamala’s classic innings going on vain.
Openers Sagar Pun (13) and Paresh Lohani (nine) failed to give a desired start as Warriors were reduced to 28-2 in 5.3 overs. Suraj stepped in and shared a match-winning 131-run partnership with Suraj Kurmi who was a clam ally from the other end.
Suraj remained unbeaten on 30 off 40 with a six and a four. Paras, who completed his half century off 22 balls, hit Rupesh Srivastav for two sixes to reach 99 and the skipper attempted another big shot off the bowler but was caught at long on.
Legends lost opener Sandeep Sunar (four) with six runs on the board before Sunil built the innings sharing 67 runs for the second wicket with Anil Mandal (15). But with asking rate creeping up, Sunil alone couldn’t save the match for Legends.
The U-19 opener Sunil made 87 off 60 balls hitting six fours and five sixes. Mehboob Alam was unbeaten on 27 off 13 with two sixes and as many boundaries. Sushan Bhari Shrestha took 2-20 from three overs for Warriors.
Dhamala was happy to score runs. “The wicket was quite good and I am happy that I was able to score some runs. Unfortunately, our team didn’t win,” said Dhamala.
The second consecutive defeat left Legends in a precarious position of being eliminated from group stage. Only the top two teams will play for the title. Captain Binod Bhandari was left dejected following the loss.
“We thought that we would restrict them close to 150 but Paras played an exceptional innings. We now have to think of bowling well, especially our fast bowlers need to step up,” said Bhandari.