Nepal APF Club defeated Nepal Police Club by one wicket to register their second consecutive victory in the Kathmandu Mayor's Cup here at the TU Stadium today.

APF, who had defeated Tribhuvan Army Club by one wicket with two balls to spare yesterday, recorded another narrow win with one ball remaining. NPC posted 258-7 in their allotted 50 overs riding in maiden century from Dipendra Singh Airee, while APF reached 263-9 in 49.5 overs.

Batting first after winning the toss, NPC lost opener Kushal Bhurtel (10) and Amit Shrestha (one) with just 22 runs on the board before Sunil Dhamala and Dipendra Singh Airee added 59 runs for the third wicket. Airee also shared a 70-run partnership with Pawan Sarraf for the fifth wicket and added another 49 runs for the seventh wicket with Dilip Nath before being dismissed in the final ball of the innings.

Man-of-the-match Airee scored 140 off 131 balls that included 11 boundaries and six fours but his heroics went in vain as he fell in the losing side. Sarraf was the next best contributor hitting four sixes in his 30-ball 35, while Dhamala scored 33 off 72 balls. Anil Shah contributed 18 off 22 balls.

APF skipper Sharad Vesawkar took 3-42, while Abinash Bohara claimed two and Amar Routela bagged one wicket.

In reply, APF needed skipper Vesawkar to come out for the second time with the bat after he was retired hurt at a time when the team was 96-1 in the 21st over. Vesawkar returned to the pavilion with the individual score of 12 runs after being injured and he was forced to came back to the middle with eight balls re

maining. And he finished the match in style with a six off Sarraf to remain unbeaten on 20 off 26 balls.

Earlier, APF openers Subash Khakurel and Aasif Sheikh made a bright start to the run chase putting up 67 runs inside 14 overs.

Khakurel scored 79-ball 50 with the help of six boundaries, while Sheikh hit five fours and a six in his 42 off 48 balls. Sundeep Jora top scored for the team with 65- ball 61. Sumit Maharjan scored an unbeaten 33 off 32 balls, while Kamal Airee struck two sixes in his runa-ball 14. Sarraf was the pick of the NPC bowlers taking 5-45, while Yogendra Singh Karki bagged two wickets.

In another match, Kathmandu Mayor's XI began the campaign with a 94-run victory over Bagmati Province.

Batting first, Kathmandu Mayor's XI scored 244-9 in 50 overs at the Mulpani grounds and packed Bagmati for 150 runs in 34.3 overs. The top order collapse saw Kathmandu Mayor's XI reeling at 43-5 inside 14 overs before the middle and lower order fired to post the fighting total. Saurav Khanal top scored with an unbeaten 49 off 58 balls, while star cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane played a fiery knock of 20-ball 42 hitting six sixes.

Sandeep Rajali struck four boundaries in his 58- ball 33, while Bipin Khatri scored 30-ball 32 hitting a four and two sixes. Nandan Yadav took 4-41 for Bagmati, while Ramnaersh Giri and Ariyo Poudel grabbed two wickets each.

In reply, Bagmati faltered with the bat and they lost last seven wickets for a paltry 51 runs. Prithu Baskota scored 60 off 79 balls, whereas no other batsman could reach 20- run mark. Man-of-thematch Sandeep Lamichhane took 3-40.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 08, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.