Kathmandu, June 1
Tribhuvan Army Club earned the semi-finals berth of Expert Prime Minister Cup One Day Cricket Tournament despite a 50-run loss at the hands of Nepal Police Club here at the TU Stadium today.
With six points from four matches, TAC lead the Group B table on better run rate (1.75) after being tied with NPC, who registered their third straight victory beating their departmental rivals. Province-2, who thrashed Province-1 by 161 runs at Mulpani in the day’s another match, have four points. NPC, who have net run rate of 1.47, will face Province-2, who are third in the table with the run rate of 0.86, on Sunday.
NPC can finish as group winners with the win eliminating Province-2, while the latter has a chance to make it to the last four if they register huge victory over the departmental team.
TAC are safe in both conditions.
Province-1, who earned two points from four matches, and Karnali Province, who failed to open their accounts, were eliminated.
In Group A, Nepal APF Club have already advanced to the semi-finals with six points from three matches, while Province-3 are at the second position with four points. Farwest Province and Province-5 have one point each with two matches to play, whereas Gandaki Province are yet to open their accounts.
In a low-scoring match at the TU Stadium, NPC were bowled out for 161 runs in 48.4 overs before they defended the total packing TAC for 111 runs in 42.3 overs. Skipper Manjeet Shrestha top scored for NPC with an unbeaten 36 off 62 balls that included three boundaries and a six, while Aarif Sheikh scored 54-ball 34 hitting two fours. Shrestha and Sheikh added 60 runs for the eight wicket to revive the innings after the NPC were reduced to 94-7 in 31.3 overs.
Dipendra Singh Airee struck two fours and a six in his 49- ball 29, while Dilip Nath (14) and Anil Kumar Sah (13) were the other batsmen who contributed in double figures. Shahab Alam was the pick of the TAC bowlers taking 4-30, while Karan KC claimed 2-36. Jitendra Kumar Mukhiya, Susan Bhari and Kushal Malla also got one wicket each.
In reply, TAC lost skipper Binod Bhandari for a golden duck in the fourth ball of the innings and they never recovered.
The 28-run stand for the fifth wicket between Hari Bahadur Chauhan and Rohit Kumar Paudel was the highest partnership in TAC innings.
Chauhan top scored for the team with 34 off 97 balls that included two boundaries, while Paudel was the second best with 16 off 37 balls.
Opener Raju Rijal (16), Jitendra Mukhiya (12) and Susan Bhari (10 not out) scored in double digits for TAC. Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi returned with 3-31 for NPC and he was ably supported by man-of-thematch Aarif Sheikh (2-18) and Dipendra Singh Airee (2-21).
Sagar Dhakal and Pawan Sarraf also grabbed a wicket each.
At Mulpani, Province-2 posted 265-9 in their allotted 50 overs before packing Province-1 for 104 runs in 28.5 overs. Suraj Patel top scored for Province-2 with an unbeaten 78 off 79 balls with the help of six boundaries and three sixes, while Rashaid Khan scored a quick fire 47 off 31 balls that included two fours and five sixes.
Opener Harishankar Shah scored 31 off 65 balls hitting three fours, while Hasim Ansari, Ravi Kumar Sah and Bishal Shusling contributed 20 each and skipper Mehboob Alam struck two sixes in his 25-ball 19. Puspa Thapa was the pick of the Province-1 bowlers taking 3-36 and Saroj Basnet grabbed 2-37.
In reply, Kumar Thapa rattled Province-1 innings with seven wickets. Opener Rajan Magar (one) was dismissed in the second over with just four runs on the board, while Sunny Pun and Minash Thapa batted confidently and they added 62 runs for the second wicket before they lost nine wickets for just 38 runs. Minash Thapa top scored for Province-1 with 36 off 35 balls that included three boundaries and two sixes, while Sunny Pun struck two fours and a six in his 48-ball 29.
Kumar Thapa, who was introduced by skipper Mehboob Alam in the 14th over took one each wicket in his first four overs and added two more in the next. He then claimed his seventh wicket in the 24th over — his sixth — to reduce Province-1 to 98-9. Thapa returned with the figures of 8-2-7-22 that also earned him the man-of-the-match award. Divyanshu Mallick claimed 2-11.