Queens Event and Management Pvt. Ltd. is all set to commence their second edition of Pokhara Premier League at beautiful Pokhara Cricket Stadium, 14th of December onwards. As the six participating franchise teams are on the verge of announcing their international players, I have come up with the pre-season analysis of last edition’s finalists Chitwan Rhinos.
Chitwan Rhinos Cricket Team:
Hari Shankar Shah, Anil Kumar Sah(wk), Paras Khadka ©, Babar Hayat (Hong Kong), Rohan Mustafa (UAE), Md Aarif Sheikh Sunny Patel (India), Karan KC, Sonu Tamang, Bhuwan Karki, Bikram Sob, Ram Naresh Giri, Bikram Bhusal, Sumit Maharjan, Aakash Thapa (wk), Manoj Katuwal (Coach)
The strength of Chitwan Rhinos will be on their strong and aggressive batting line up led by team captain Paras Khadka himself. Sunny Patel who had an amazing season last year will get along with experienced Rohan Mustafa & Babar Hayat, both the dominant names at the Associate level. Star with both bat and ball, Sunny scored 174 runs at an amazing strike rate of 173.21 last season bagging Man of the Tournament award in his name. He also picked up 10 wickets leading the team towards their maiden finals. Other names in the batting department include young guns Aarif Sheikh, Hari Shankar Shah, Anil Kumar Shah and Sonu Tamang who can turn around the match at any time for the Chitwan Rhinos. Karan KC who has been renowned for his heroic finish time and again will be expected to anchor the inning once again coming down the order. I wouldn’t be surprised seeing 170-180 runs at an average for Chitwan Rhinos as the tournament progresses.
They will have to rely either of Anil Kumar Sah or Aakash Thapa as wicketkeepers in their team.
At the bowling line up, Karan KC and Bikram Sob are certain to take the responsibility in pace department while there are quite an option to hand over the bowl to the spinners. Karan KC with 12 wickets is the leading wicket taker of Pokhara Premier League 2018 while Sunny Patel has an exciting average of 9.80 with economy of just 3.58 in Pokhara cricket ground. Playing for Chitwan Rhinos last year, he bowled the most number of overs in the Pokhara Premier League (27.2 overs). Bhuwan Karki who bagged 7 wickets in his name last year has a chance to step up with his spin bowling while Rohan Mustafa can be crucial after his return to Chitwan Rhinos from Butwal Blasters this season. Mustafa took 5 wickets in Pokhara Premier League 2018. Though Khadka can single handedly turn around matches at any time with his bowling, major concern for Rhinos would be under performance of Bikram Bhusal and Ram Naresh Giri in recent times with the ball.
- Explosive batting line up
- Big foreign names
- Lack third dependable seamer
- Wicket keeping batsman
Chitwan Rhinos seem to be the most strong side on paper that has an ability to get through to the knockout stage standing at the top of the points table. Regarding the title, It’s all about holding your nerves till the final ball being bowled. One thing is certain though, we will get to witness the blend of nature and exciting cricket at the lap of himalayas.
Last year’s form: L, W, W, W, L, L
Pokhara Premier League Schedule for Chitwan Rhinos:
16th Dec vs Pokhara Paltans
18th Dec vs Butwal Blasters
19th Dec vs Expert Dhangadi Blues
21st Dec vs Biratnagar Titans
23rd Dec vs Kathmandu Goldens
(Photo Source: Chitwan Rhinos official facebook page)