Paras Khadka’s individual record score of 67 runs in the tournament guided Dhangadhi Team Chauraha to the final of Dhangadhi Premier League T20 Cricket Tournament on Thursday as it registered a thumping 92-run win over Shakti Gauchan-led Rupandehi Challengers.
Now Chauraha will take on Sharad Vesawkar-led Biratnagar Kings in the final clash on Saturday.
Player-of-the-match Khadka, who remained unbeaten, also became the third player in the tournament to reach half-century and help Chauraha post 172/5 and bowl out Rupandehi Challengers for a meager total of 80 runs in 15.2 overs.
It was the third straight victory for Chauraha, which had made terrible start to the tournament losing its first three league round matches. Chauraha defeated Kathmandu Goldens and Rupandehi Challengers in its last two league matches which helped it secure a place in the play-off. Similarly, it overcame Kathmandu Goldens in the play-off on Wednesday to book its place in the second qualifier match of the tournament.
After guiding his team to the final, Chauraha’s skipper Khadka said that luck favored his side. “Any team needs luck to win in such tough matches and today luck favored us. But our players also have done really great lately. Each and every player has contributed equally. We have found good form and hope it will continue in the final as well,” said Khadka.
In the match played at SSP Cricket Ground, Dhangadhi, skipper Khadka hit six boundaries and four sixes to make 67 runs off 41 balls. Meanwhile, Chauraha made positive start to the innings with its openers Raju Rijal and Anil Mandal building up a 29-run partnership for the first wicket. Raju stroked 25 runs hitting four boundaries facing 28 balls while Anil made 13 runs off 11 balls. Amar Routela and Saurav Khanal contributed 24 and 16 runs respectively. Rupandehi Challengers’ Krishna Karki claimed two wickets while Bikram Bhushal and Shahab Alam added one each. Shahbab has now become the highest wicket taker in the tournament with 16 wickets from seven matches.
Meanwhile, Chauraha bowlers displayed impressive bowling to prevent Rupandehi Challengers from meeting the target as Lalit Rajbanshi and Saurav Khanal claimed three wickets each while Aarif Sheikh added two more.
Rupandehi Challengers’ openers Harishankar Shah (4) and Shankar Rana (9) were bowled out by Aarif Sheikh. Bikram Sob and Puspa Thapa, who came to bat at third and fourth order, also couldn’t strengthen the innings. To destroy the innings of Rupandehi Challengers, Saurav dismissed Raju Pulami Magar (14), Prakash KC (8) and Krishna Karki (14) in a row. Likewise, Lalit took his third wicket sending Bikram Bhushal (5) who came to bat at number nine.
Similarly, both Rajesh Pulami Magar and Krishna Karki made 14 runs each.