Nepal APF Club advanced to the final of the Kathmandu Mayor's Cup Cricket Tournament setting up the mouth-watering clash with fellow departmental side Nepal Police Club.

APF defeated Kathmandu Mayor's XI by seven wickets in their last league match at the Mulpani grounds to finish behind NPC in the fiveteam table. Both the teams accumulated six points with three wins each and NPC, who had made it to the final yesterday, remained at the top on superior net run rate.

Bagmati Province registered a 10-run victory over Tribhuvan Army Club in the thrilling encounter at the TU Stadium that produced two each centuries and five-wicket hauls. But the outcome of the match turned out to be meaningless after APF's win out them in top two. Bagmati finished third with four points, while PM Cup champions TAC and Kathmandu Mayor's XI ended the campaign on two points each.

APF skipper Sharad Vesawkar's decision to field first paid off as Kathmandu Mayor's XI were bowled out for 177 runs in 48.5 overs.

APF then reached 178-3 with 35 balls to spare sealing a place in final on their own.

Sandeep Rajali top scored for Kathmandu Mayor's XI with 48 off 83 balls that included five boundaries, while Harishankar Shah hit two each fours and sixes in his 57-ball 36.

Bikram Bhusal (20), Khadak Bohora (13) and skipper Sandeep Lamichhane (11) scored in double figures but they could not make significant contribution to the total. Abinash Bohara and Kamal Airee took three wickets each for APF, while Bhuvan Karki, Sharad Vesawkar and Basant Regmi grabbed one apiece.

In reply, APF were reduced to 57-3 inside 16 overs but skipper Vesawkar and Sundeep Jora took the team home sharing a 121-run partnership for the unbroken fourth wicket. Man-ofthe-match Jora struck nine fours in his 62 off 79 balls, while Vesawkar remained unbeaten on 118-ball 61 that included five boundaries and a six.

Opener Shankar Ran scored 31 off 49 balls hitting five fours and Bhuvan Karki (11) also contributed in double figures. Anuj Chunara, Anil Kharel and skipper Lamichhane grabbed one wicket each for Kathmandu Mayor's XI.

In another match, Parash Khadka scored a century to help Bagmati post 266 runs in 49.4 overs TAC, who were packed for 256 with 17 balls remaining despite Binod Bhandari's triple figures.

Bagmati's innings revolved around former national team skipper Khadka as he shared two 70-plus partnerships on his way to scoring 119 off 133 balls that included 11 hits to the fence and two sixes.

Khadka added 73 runs with Ishan Pandey (26) for the third wicket and he shared a 75-run stand with Aadil Khan (21) for the fifth wicket. Nandan Yadav scored a quick fire 42 off 25 balls with the help of five fours and a six, while Prithu Baskota struck one each four and six in his 11-ball 12.

Sompal Kami returned with five-wicket haul but he was expensive in his 5-65 off 10 overs, while Bikram Sob, Jitendra Mukhiya, Shahab Alam and Karan KC grabbed one wicket each for TAC.

In reply, TAC skipper Binod Bhandari scored a magnificent century but he just could not take the team home. Bhandari played an entertaining knock hitting eight boundaries and seven sixes in his 119-ball 114. He was the ninth man out at a time when the team needed 13 more runs to win the match from 37 balls.

Lokesh Bam's 46 off just 28 balls that included seven fours and a six fell in a shadow, while Karan KC contributed 24 runs and Rohit Poudel scored 15. Man-of-thematch Ariyo Poudel was the chief destroyer taking 5-46 from 8.1 overs, while Ramnaresh Giri grabbed two wickets for Bagmati. Nandan Yadav, Sonu Devkota and Paras Khadka took one wicket apiece.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 12, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.