APF, Province7 off to winning starts
Kathmandu, May 27
Nepal APF Club and Province7 began the PM Cup One Day Cricket Tournament with wins here today.
APF defeated Provice4 by five wickets at the TU Stadium, while Province7 beat Province6 by 48 runs in a low-scoring encounter at the Mulpani grounds.
In the opening match, Province4 scored 239-9, while APF raced to 242-5 with more than 13 overs to spare, thanks to half centuries from Rohit Kumar Paudel and Prithu Baskota.
APF had a shaky start to their run chase as they were 13-2 inside three overs with opener Aasif Sheikh (five) and Anil Kumar Sah (one) returning to the pavilion cheaply. Opener Subash Khakurel and Pradeep Singh Airee then added 79 runs for third wicket before the latter fell for 37 runs. Airee hit four fours and a six in his 51-ball knock.
After Khakurel — who struck six fours in his 48 off 61 balls — fell two runs short of the half century in his comeback match, Baskota and Paudel anchored the innings with a 110-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Baskota scored run-a-ball 53 hitting seven fours and a six before Suma Ghimire separated the pair in the 37th over with APF needing another six runs to win the match.
Man-of-the-match Paudel completed the formality and remained unbeaten on 73 off just 41 balls that included 10 boundaries and three sixes. Province4 skipper Bidhan Shrestha used nine bowlers and five of them claimed one wicket each.
Earlier, Province4 posted the fighting total riding on half century from Hari Chauhan, who scored 57 off 64 balls hitting seven fours and a six. Skipper Bidhan Shrestha scored 43 off 82 balls, while Bipin Khatri struck a four and three sixes his 13-ball 27. Amrit Gurung (21), Santosh Neuapne (12) and Govinda Pradhan (10) also contributed in double figures.
Kamal Singh Airee was the pick of the APF bowlers taking 3-42 from nine overs, while Amar Singh Routela claimed 2-26. Karan KC was a bit expensive in his 1-67 from 10 overs, while Prithu Baskota took 1-28 from six overs.
In another match, Province7 were bowled out for 125 runs in 31.3 overs before Province6 were packed for a paltry 77 runs in 22.2 overs. Province7 were all out cheaply despite half century from Sanju Damai, who struck five fours and six in his 61-ball 54. Surendra Chand, who scored 25 off 26 balls hitting five boundaries, was the only other batsman to contribute in double figures.
Tek Salami was the pick of the Province6 bowlers as he completed the five-wicket haul returning with the figures of 5-12 from 8.3 overs. Dinesh Pun took 2-18, while Chandra BC and Prakash Jaishi pocketed one wicket each.
In reply, only Rabindra Shahi and Diwan Pun scored in double figures for Province6. Shahi scored 29 off 36 balls hitting six fours, while Pun struck two fours in his 18-ball 13.
Man-of-the-match Sher Malla was the chief destroyer for Province7 as he returned with the figures of 5-21 from 7.2 overs, while Binod Lama (2-32) and Santosh Bhatta (2-4) shared four wickets between them. Bikram Thagunna pocketed one wicket.