Citizen, Indian Embassy make winning start

KATHMANDU: Amit Khanal struck an explosive 31 runs to steer Citizen International Bank to a 16-run win over Nepal Investment Bank Ltd (NIBL) in the inaugural match of the Soaltee Crowne Plaza Super Sixes Cricket Tournament here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium today.

Electing to bat first, Citizen scored 62-2 in their allotted five overs before restricting NIBL to 46-2 in their Group ‘A’ match. Khanal was forced to a compulsory retirement after scoring 31 while Sarad Pokharel also struck unbeaten 12 off just six deliveries. Sangram Bahadur Shah took one wicket for NIBL. Sandeep Lama top-scored with unbeaten 12-ball 16 and Nirajan Rana made 12 off 11 balls for NIBL. Sarad claimed one wicket for Citizen.

Spice Nepal defeated Sunrise Bank by five wickets in Group ‘B’ match. Sunrise could only muster 36-4 in five overs with Aadharsha Swar scoring 10 and Bhola Bista chipping in with seven runs. Anil Maharjan and Rajesh Aryal claimed one wicket apiece for Spice Nepal. In reply, Spice Nepal overcame the target for the loss of one wicket in 2.2 overs. Santosh Shrestha struck not out 17 off nine balls and Ranjan Sharma made seven runs.

In Group ‘C’ match, Himalayan Bank beat Bank of Asia by six wickets. Bank of Asia made 40-4 before openers Siddhartha Sharma, who scored 20 off 14 balls, and Raj Shrestha, who made 18 from 10 balls, convincingly guided the Himalayan Bank to an emphatic win. Raj, Sandeep Singh and Sabut Rai claimed one wicket each for Himalayan Bank.

Meanwhile, championship favourite Indian Embassy hammered New Business Age (NBA) by 49 runs in Group ‘D’ match. Batting first, Indian Embassy scored 68-2 in five overs and dismissed NBA for a paltry 19 runs in 4.4 overs. Arjan Singh top-scored for Indian Embassy with 17-ball 26 while Alok Kumar struck 13 from 12 deliveries. Sandeep Gautam claimed both the Indian Embassy wickets to fall. For NBA, Madhukar Dahal scored seven runs. AK Singh, NC Khuman and NK Singh took two wickets each for Indian Embassy.

Likewise, Laxmi Bank saw off Team Samsung by 24 runs in the Group ‘E’ match. Laxmi Bank made 69-1 before restricting Team Samsung for 45-1. Sabal Rimal made 17 and Harmesh Soni scored 13 for Laxmi Bank. For Team Samsung, Dhiraj Bhattarai contributed 13 and Subrat Pandey struck 12.

NIC Bank saw off Kumari Bank by six wickets in the Group ‘F’ match, Kumari made 43-0 with Rupesh Sharma scoring unbeaten 15 runs. In reply, Sujan Rai made not out 21 off 14 balls to steer NIC to victory in 4.3 overs. Ankit Khanal also chipped in with unbeaten 12 runs.