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Relief as Maharoof’s Kings XI open account

Skipper Farveez Maharoof finally lived up to his star billing leading Kathmandu Kings XI to their first victory in the Everest Premier League (EPL) at the TU Stadium on Thursday.

Sri Lankan Maharoof picked up three wickets and returned with the bat to make some important runs as Kings XI chased down Chitwan Tigers’ 142-7 in replying with 143-7 in 19.2 overs.

Kings XI had lost to Lalitpur Patriots and Bhairahawa Gladiators before bouncing back with the victory over Tigers who have gone on to lose their second straight game.

Kings start was jolted by the early dismissal of opener Sagar Pun (five) beofre Maharoof and another opener Amit Shrestha consolidated the innings with a 65-run second wicket stand. Amit made 38 from 24 balls hitting seven boundaries and is now the leading scorer of the tournament with 94 runs.

Maharoof played some shots and was out when his team’s score was 98 in the 13th over. Maharoof notched up his top score of the tournament hitting 39 from 33 with three fours and two sixes. 

Kings XI were then shocked by the early dismissal of Sompal Kami (two), Sagar Kumar and Siddhant Lohani in quick spells when the team was 18 runs away from victory. Sagar made 23 off 25 with two boundaries, while Siddhant hit a 10-ball 12. Raju Rijal was out for four but Akshu Fernando (eight) and Amar (five) collected the required runs.

Pravin Gupta took 2-23 from four over for Tigers, while Pramesh Kumar, Shahab Alam and Dipendra Singh Airee also had a scalp each.

Earlier, Dilip Nath had held the innings for Tigers from the top order before he was out in the 12th over after making 46 off 40 balls with five fours and a six. Another opener Anil Mandal (two) and Sandeep Sunar (five) were out cheaply.

Sabez Khan hit two sixes off leg spinner Bikram Bhushal in a single over before losing his wicket to Amar Singh Routela. Khan was the second best scorer for Tigers making 27 off 25. Yogendra Singh Karki (17) and Kamal Singh Airee (12) were their next best scorers. 

Maharoof returned the figures of 3-21 from four overs, while Sagar Pun, Amar and Bhushal took a wicket each.

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