APF join Army in semis
Kathmandu, June 4
Subash Khakurel and Pradeep Singh Airee scored centuries as Nepal APF Club defeated Province2 by 96 runs under Duckworth-Lewis method and entered the semi-finals of the PM Cup One Day Cricket Tournament here at the TU Stadium today.
With their third straight victory, APF accumulated six points and joined Tribhuvan Army Club in the semi-finals from Group A. TAC also have six points but they are second in table due to inferior run rate and the match between the two departmental teams will decide the group winners.
Batting first, APF amassed 339-6 riding on centuries from Khakurel and Airee before Province2 — who got the revised target of 202 from 28 overs — managed 105-9.
After losing opener Anil Kumar Sah (three) with 20 runs on the board, Khakurel and Airee added 231 runs for the second wicket. Khakurel hammered seven fours and two sixes in his 130-ball 103, while Airee scored a quick fire 158 off 135 balls that included 13 boundaries and eight sixes. Man-of-the-match Airee also became the highest individual scorer in 50-over national cricket eclipsing the previous best of Raju Khadka. The former national team skipper Khadka of Region-IV (Bhairahawa) had scored unbeaten 151 runs against Region-II (Birgunj) during the national tournament in Birgunj in 2004.
Prithu Baskota struck four boundaries and a six in his unbeaten 29 off 14 balls, while Bhuvan Karki struck three fours in his six-ball 16. Divyanshu Mallick of Province2 completed the five-wicket haul although he conceded 84 runs in nine overs, while Rahul Pratap Singh took 1-20 from two overs.
In reply, Province2 had reached 64 without loss in 16 overs before rain stopped the match. Upon resumption, Province2 needed another 138 runs from 12 overs and they lost momentum.
After Karan KC made the breakthrough dismissing Suraj Patel in the fourth ball of the 17th over, Province2 lost wickets at regular interval before being folded cheaply. They could just add 41 runs losing nine wickets in 12 overs.
Opener Harishankar Shah top scored with 38 off 52 balls hitting three fours, while other opener Patel scored 53-ball 34 that included five boundaries and a six. Other batsmen failed to score in double figures.
Karan KC (3-30) and skipper Basant Regmi (3-10) shared six wickets between them for APF, while Bhuvan Karki, Kamal Singh Airee and Rohit Kumar Paudel took one wicket each.
In another match at the Mulpani grounds, Province5 beat Province3 by 30 run in D-L Method. Batting first, Province5 were bowled out for 152 runs in 44.4 overs, while Province5 had reached 89-3 in 20.5 overs before rain stopped the play. Province5 were declared the winners after they received the revised target of 60 runs in 20.5 overs which they had already crossed.
Opener Bhupendra Thapa top scored for Province3 with 46 off 66 balls that included three fours and two sixes, while Rupesh Kumar Shrivastav remained struck two fours in his unbeaten 36-ball 21. Jitendra Singh Thakuri (18), Aadil Khan (16) and Sanjay Basnet (15) also scored in double figures. Man-of-the-match Lal Adhikari was the pick of Province5 bowlers taking 4-33 from 10 overs, while Krishna Karki (2-7), Sandeep Sunar (2-31) and Bikram Kumar Bhusal (2-41) took two wickets each.
In reply, Sandeep Sunar scored 38 off 35 balls hitting seven fours and a six before being retired hurt, while Shankar Rana scored 31-ball 19. Shakti Gauchan remained unbeaten on 15 off 23 balls that included two fours. The match was stopped after Antim Thapa (10) was bowled by Kishore Mahato. Abhishek Jha also took a wicket for Province3.
After day’s result, Province5 advanced to the semi-finals with five points from three matches. Province7, who also have five points from four matches, are second and are still alive, while Nepal Police Club are third with three points from two matches. Province3, who have two points after three matches, and Province6 (one) are out of the race.