NPC stay strong, Army top group


PM Cup

Anil Mandal of Tribhuvan Army Club bats against Nepal APF Club during their PM Cup One Day Cricket Tournament match at the TU Stadium in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Photo: Udipt Singh Chhetry/ THT

Kathmandu, June 5

Nepal Police Club defeated Province3 by six wickets to move to the top of Group B, while Tribhuvan Army Club beat Nepal APF Club by 70 runs to finish first in Group A of the Prime Minister Cup One Day Cricket Tournament here today.

In a match reduced to 20-over-a-side due to wet outfield at Mulpani grounds, already-eliminated Province3 scored 137-9, while NPC reached 138-4 with one ball to spare.

Sonu Tamang top scored for Province3 with a quick fire 48 off 33 balls hitting three fours and two sixes, while Aadil Khan scored 43-ball 45 that included one four and three sixes.

Ramnaresh Giri took 3-25 for NPC, while Lalit Singh Bhandari claimed 2-25. Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi and Aarif Sheikh pocketed one wicket each.

In reply, NPC overcame a disastrous start to reach the target with one ball remaining. They were reduced to 1-1 and 25-3 in four overs Dilip Nath (naught), Dipendra Singh Airee (one) and Kushal Bhurtel (nine) were dismissed cheaply.

Opener Sunil Dhamala and man-of-the-match Aarif Sheikh not only revived the innings but also took the team close to victory with 110-run partnership for the fourth wicket. When Sheikh, who scored 66 off 54 balls that included six fours and two sixes, was out, caught by Dhakal off Aadil Khan, the departmental side needed three runs from as many balls.

Skipper Manjeet Shrestha added three runs from the next two balls to complete the victory. Dhamala remained unbeaten on 50 off 46 balls that included two fours and three sixes. Rupesh Kumar Shrivastav took 2-32 for Province3, while Kishore Mahato and Aadil Khan claimed one wicket each.

With the victory, NPC climbed to the top of the table o superior net run rate after being tied on five points with Province5 and Province7. NPC will take on Province5 in their final group stage match and Province7, who have negative run rate, are unlikely to make it to the semi-finals.

At TU Stadium, TAC were bowled out for 228 runs in 40 overs before packing APF for 158 in 32.5 overs. With the victory, TAC finished first in Group A with eight points from four matches, while APF were second with six.

Man-of-the-match Anil Mandal top scored for TAC with 72 off 99 balls hitting seven fours, while skipper BinodBhandari struck one each four and six in his 23-ball 50. Likewise, opener Sagar Pun scored 46 off 55 balls that included three each boundaries and sixes, while NareshBudayair struck a four and a six in his 39-ball 37. Except for the top four batsmen, others failed to score in double figures as TAC lost last six wickets for a meager 19 runs.

Bhuvan Karki took 3-44 for APF, while Karan KC, Kamal Singh Airee, Basant Regmi and Prithu Baskota claimed one wicket each.

In reply, six APF batsmen got starts but they failed to convert them into big knocks. Amar Singh Routela top scored with an unbeaten 29 off 16 balls hitting one four and three sixes, while Rohit Kumar Paudel scored 28 and Bhuvan Karki contributed 26. Anil Kumar Sah (25), Subash Khakurel (22) and Pradeep Singh Airee (10) also scored in double figures.

Sompal Kami was the pick of the TAC bowlers taking 3-37 and he was able supported by Sushan Bhari (2-17), Sagar Pun (2-25) and Shahab Alam (2-55).

Written by Sandeep
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