Panchakanya Tez and Jagdamba Giants raced into the semi-finals of the Ncell Nepal Premier League (NPL) on Monday.
Tez crushed Gyanendra Malla-led Colors X-Factors by 156 runs making it through with a hundred per cent win record from their first three matches. Giants, meanwhile, edged Kantipur Gurkhas by 13 runs to go through following their third victory in four matches. Giants have a match in hand.
Sagarmatha Legends are in a pole position to reach the last four who stay third with four points and a victory over Tez on Tuesday will see them through. Defeat will still keep them alive considering how other teams fare.
Gurkhas, X-Factors and Vishal Warriors have two points each at the fourth, fifth and sixth spots. If Gurkhas win their any of their remaining game with Warriors and X-Factors winning theirs, things will come down to run rate.
In Kanchanpur, a pin-point bowling from U-19 skipper Bhuwan Karki and collective effort from batsmen confirmed Tez’s progress. Put in, Tez piled a huge 276-9 in 50 overs with a half century from Pushpa Thapa. Bhuwan wreaked havoc in defense picking up six wickets to bundle out X-Factors for just 120 runs in 34.4 overs.
Left arm spinner Bhuwan struck regularly after seamer Karan KC picked two top order wickets. Rajesh Pulami Magar was the only X-Factors batsman to show some grit with 39 off 65 that included four boundaries.
Gyanendra (16), Raj Mohammad (10) and Siddhant Lohani (10) were others to touch double digits. Man-of-the-match Bhuwan returned with the figures of 6-40, the best in current season, while Binod Das and Rajkumar Pradhan picked up one wicket each.
Earlier, openers Sanjay Shrestha and Indra Kamal Manandhar provided the platform for Tez collecting 58 runs in 8.2 overs. Sanjay smashed some attractive shots racing to 43 off 31 with five fours and two sixes before losing his wicket to Faizlur Rehman Khan.
Kumar Thapa dismissed Indra Kamal (23) and new man Sunny Pun (19) but Tez were already 105-3 inside 24 overs. Pushpa joined the act taking Tez to a strong position with three big partnerships. He shared 45 runs with Aarif Sheikh (14), 61 runs with skipper Sharad Vesawkar (16) and 56 with Binod Das before falling short of tournament’s first century by nine runs.
Puspa made 91 off 94 with nine boundaries and four sixes. Binod chipped in 30 off 22 hitting three maximum and one boundary. Faizlur took 3-21 for X-Factors.