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Shakti’s Giants begin on positive note

Shakti Gauchan-led Jagdamba Giants on Thursday began their Ncell Nepal Premier League (NPL) campaign with a 51-run victory over Sagarmatha Legends.

Legends, Binod Bhandari-led team that crushed Paras Khadka captained Vishal Warriors by 107 runs in the inaugural day, were undone by Shakti’s spin in reply of Giants’ 213-9 in 50 overs. Shakti picked up 4-19 from 8.3 overs as Legends were 162 all out in 42.3 overs.

It was an all-spinner show for Giants who tigthened the screws after medium pacer Nizamuddin Ansari removed Sunil Dhama (one) in the second over. Anil Mandal and Paresh Lohani (18) resisted for a while with a 46-run stand before Shakti bowled the latter in the 11th over.

Prem Tamang then dismissed Dilip Nath (three) in the 13th over before Shuvankar Sanyasi – the Indian bowler brought by Giants – got Legends’ key man Binod Bhandari. The Legends skipper was coming into the match with his scintillating 98-run in Wednesday’s 107-run victory over Vishal Warriors but departed early today after a six and a four in his 13-ball 14.

Sanyasi did the job again getting rid of set man Anil as there was no chance of a comeback for Legends at 75-5 in 17.2 overs. Anil made 36 off 54 hitting six boundaries. Mehboob Alam and Rahul Kumar BK tried to keep Giants attack at bay with a 48-run stand before Shakti struck. Shakti removed danger man Alam for 16 off 38 and followed the dismissal scalping Rahul.

Rahul was second best scorer for Legends making 29 off 54 with three fours and a six. Prem Tamang got his third when Chandra Saud was foxed by him and Shakti polished off the tail picking up two wickets in two balls. Rupesh Srivastav made 17 off 32. Shakti was named the man-of-the-match.

Earlier, Giants’ inning was built around a modest partnerships in the top order that began with a 36-run stand between Mahesh Chhetri (18) and Naresh Budhayer. Nischal provided the break to Legends but Naresh went on to add another 56 runs with Amit Shrestha.

Amit played aggressively making 32 off 22 with four fours and two sixes before losing his wicket to Lal Bahadur Adhikari. Naresh lost his wicket to Rupesh in the 25th over after making 37 off 72 with four hits to the fence.

From 110-2, Giants lost their next six wickets for just 45 runs but Shakti (seven) and Som Pal Kami pushed the team towards 200-run mark with a 29-run stand. Som Pal hit three fours and two sixes in his 31 off 32 and was the last man to go falling prey to Rahul.

Prem remained 14 not out from 18 balls with two fours. Rahul finished with the figures of 3-48, while Lal Babu and Rupesh took two wickets each.

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