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Warriors register second win in a row

Biratnagar Warriors have registered their second consecutive victory defeating Pokhara Rhinos by three wickets in their second match of the TVS Everest Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament on Wednesday.

Electing to field first in the early game, Warriors restricted Rhinos to 122-6 in 20 overs. Warriors were awarded five runs in the start of the innings after Rhinos were penalised when Saurav Khanal and Taj Wali ran into the pitch in the last ball of their innings.

The last ball of the last over from seamer Karan KC saw Saurav and Wali collecting three runs but they ended up losing eight runs for the team. In a nail-biting contest, Warriors reached 123-7 with two balls to spare as Rhinos were left ruing the penalty five runs they gave away.

With Rath taking the game away and sticking to the crease, Warriors must have thought it could have been a cake walk for them but the Hong Kong opener was out in the 19th over. Warriors needed eight runs from the last over and Pranit Thapa Magar negotiated with the total scoring seven of them.

Anshuman had given a brisk start to Warriors after he did the bulk of scoring in his 33-run partnership with Aasif Sheikh (two) inside four overs. Sushan Bhari then took two wickets in a single over removing Aasif and Basanta Regmi (duck) as Rhinos were back in the game. 

Anshuman added 35 more runs for the third wicket with Babar Hayat and 29 with skipper Paras Khadka (11) as Warriors gradully inched closer to victory. The only twist in the game was when Israrullah picked up key wickets of Paras and new man Anil Sah (one) but Anshuman stayed for his side. 

Anshuman made 60 from 61 with six fours and two sixes. Bhari returned the figures of 2-20 and Israrullah was impressive again in his 2-10.

Earlier, Rhinos got off to a flying start when their opener Israrullah struck three boundaries and a six but they pegged back once skipper Paras Khadka trapped the Pakistani leg before wicket. 

Israrullah had shaped Rhinos’ 10-wicket victory over Chitwan Tigers in the first match making 61 unbeaten runs but on Wednesday he was out for 21 off 16 balls. In the same over, Khadka struck against with the dismissal of hard hitting Binod Bhandari (four). 

Basanta Regmi then picked up the wicket of another dangerman Asif Ali (one), the man with century in Twenty20s. Another opener Sunil Dhamala and Rajesh Pulami Magar resisted with a 30-run partnership before Avinash Karn had the former stumped by Aasif Sheikh. 

Sunil scored 18 from 23 with a six and a four. Shakti Gauchan (five) was next go dismissed by Paras and Rajesh followed him after handing a catch to Babar Hayat. Rajesh top scored for Rhinos with a 35-ball 30 having hit two boundaries and a six.

Saurav and Wali brought Rhinos’ best partnership of the day scoring 33 unbeaten runs between them. Wali made 18 off 15 and Saurav chipped in 16 from 19 with both hitting a  boundaries each. 

Paras picked up three wickets conceding 28 runs. Ram Naresh Giri also had a scalp for Warriors who now lead the table with four points from two matches.  

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