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Poudel half century hands Lions MCL T20 title

Sudeep Poudel struck a timely half century as Down Town Pokhara Lions claimed the first edition of the Machhapuchhre Cricket Lions with an eight-wicket victory over Parbat Titans on Saturday.

In the final match where Titans had opportunity avenge the loss they suffered against Lions in the first Qualifier, they were restricted to a below-par 99 in 20 overs. Sudeep, the most expensive player in the auction, was at the centre of Lions chase as the opener carried the bat guiding his side to 103-2 in 17.5 overs.

After Lions lost opener R Baral (duck) early in their chase, Sudeep shared 40 runs for the second wicket with Lal Bahadur Thapa (eight) and an unbeaten 59 for the third wicket with Arun Adhikari to break Titans hearts.

Sudeep struck five sixes and a boundary in his 59-ball 56, while Arun was unbeaten on 27 off 23 that included two sixes and a four. Paras Lamichhane and Agendra Chhantyal picked up a wicket each for the losing side.

Earlier, Paras and Agendra had given Titans a decent start adding 31 runs for the first wicket but the middle order failed to cash in on the foundation. Paras made 18 off 15 with two sixes and a four, while Agendra made 13 off 27.

Deepen Rayamaji was Titans’ second best scorer making 16 off 19 with a six and a four, while Abhishek Thapa was unbeaten on 15 off 27. Himala Gaha and Biru Gurung took two wickets each for Lions.

Gurung was later named the best bowler of the tournament, while Machhapuchhre Lions skipper Dipesh Khatri walked away with the player-of-the-series and best batsman award. Along with the title, Lions collected a cash purse of Rs 300,000 and Titans got Rs 150,000. While the player-of-the-series received Rs 20,000, the best batsman and bowler got Rs 10,000 apiece.

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