KATHMANDU, Dec 25: A 70 runs partnership between Gladiators skipper Sharad Vesakwar and all-rounder Aarif Sheikh has sealed a place in playoffs for Bhairahawa. They completed the chase in 18th over by seven wickets.
The chase started with Indian player Pratham Salunke’s barrage of fours. He smashed five fours in an over of Bikram Sob on his way to 25 runs from just 12 deliveries. He was dismissed by Rhinos’ Pakistani bowler Taj Wali, who also removed Pradeep Airee for two runs. Shakti Gauchan also picked up a wicket for Rhinos.
Aarif Sheikh scored unbeaten 48 runs which included three fours and three sixes. He played a matured innings taking his time to settle at the crease. Sharad Vesawkar made unbeaten 32 runs from 37 deliveries including three fours.
After being 2 for 68 at halfway mark, Pokhara Rhinos collapsed to 108 all out in the 19th over. Rhinos lost last eight wickets for 40 runs. It was an all-round bowling effort from Bhairahawa Gladiators bowlers as Dipesh Shrestha, skipper Sharad Vesawkar, and Krishna Karki picked up two wickets each.
Indian players Pratham Salunke, Puneet Mishra along with Hari Shankar Shah and Aarif Sheikh chipped in with a wicket each to bundle Rhinos out in 18.3 overs.
Pokhara Rhinos won the toss and elected to bat first for the battle of the second position in the points table. Pakistan batsman Israrullah scored 41 runs once again holding an end for Rhinos but struggled to forge a partnership as wickets kept tumbling from the other end. Sunil Dhamala was second top-scorer with 15 runs to his name.
Struggling for form batsmen, Binod Bhandari, Rajesh Pulami were dismissed for a duck. Similarly, Saurav Khanal could only muster 9 runs to his name with a six to his name. Skipper Shakti Gauchan who came to bat at number nine made three not our runs.
Pokhara Rhinos (Toss) 108 all out (18.3 Ov)
Israrullah 41 (40) 6 fours
Dipesh Shrestha 3.3-0-14-2
S Vesawkar 4-0-18-2
K Karki 3-0-23-2
Bhairahawa Gladiators 110/3 (17.3 Ov)
Aarif Sheikh 48* (47) 3 fours, 3 sixes
Sharad Vesawkar 32* (37), 3 fours
Taj Wali 3.4-0-25-2
Shakti Gauchan 4-0-18-1
Gladiators won by 7 wickets
Man of the match: Aarif Sheikh