Kathmandu, Dec. 30: Biratanar Warriors has clinched the Everest Premier League (EPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament title by defeating Bhairahawa Galidators with a slim margin of one run.
Batting first after winning the toss, Biratnagar led by Nepali national cricket team captain Paras Khadka posted a challenging total of 149 runs at the loss of 7 wickets in the stipulated 20 overs.
In reply, Bhairahawa led by Sharad Bheshwakar completed its full quota of 20 overs with 148 runs only, thereby losing out by just one run. Bhairahwa that was on course for a win until the 18th over, ultimately lost the match after losing 5 wickets in the final two overs.
Bhairahawa needed only 11 runs in the final 2 overs, but still could not make it. Biratnagar captain Khadka did the damage by giving away only 2 runs in the 19th over and also taking 2 wickets. Even then, 9 runs in the final six balls was pretty much possible. The last over was full of drama with the first ball hit for a four by Anil Shah, who was out next ball. Then the third ball was a dot too and Bhairahawa lost two wickets in the next two balls, with the need for five runs in the final ball. But it could manage only 3 runs, missing the victory target by just two runs and losing the match by one run.
Earlier, Ansuman Rath top scored for Biratnagar with 41 runs, captain Khadka scored 27 runs while Hari Shanker Shah made 22 runs. For Bhairahawa, Punit Mishra and Krishna Karki took two wickets each while captain Bheshwakar and Arif Sheikh took one each.
Bhairahawa was beaten by Biratnagar for the third time in this tournament. It had lost in both the league as well as in the first qualifier.
Biratnagar captain Khadka was declared the 'man-of-the-match'. Bhairahawa's Rohit Kumar Poudel was declared the most valuable player of the tournament while Babar Hayat of Biratnagar won the man-of-the-series award. With the win, Biratnagar also won a cash prize of Rs. 2.1 million along with the winners' trophy. -Kumar Chaulagain, RSS
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