Kathmandu, May 31
Nepal APF Club registered their third consecutive victory, while Province-1 thrashed Karnali Province in the Expert Prime Minister Cup One Day Cricket Tournament here today.
With the win, APF became the first team to book a place in the semi-finals from Group A after accumulating six points. Province-3 are second with four points, while Farwest and Province-5 have one points each from two matches. Gandaki are yet to open their accounts.
In Group B, Tribhuvan Army Club lead the table with six points from three matches, while fellow departmental side Nepal Police Club are second with four from two games. Province-1 opened their accounts with today’s win, while Province-2 also have two points. Karnali, who lost all four matches, are eliminated from the group.
In a match which was reduced to 43-over-a-side at Mulpani grounds, Gandaki were bowled out for 125 runs in 41.2 overs before APF raced to 127-4 with 120 balls to spare. Dipesh Shrestha top scored for Gandaki with 27 off 35 balls hitting two fours and he was the lone batsman to score more than 20 runs.
Bhuvan Karki was the pick of the APF bowlers taking 3-22 from nine overs and he was ably supported by Amar Singh Routela (2-8), Yagyaman Kumal (2-16) and Sharad Vesawkar (2-41). Kamal Singh Airee also took a wicket for the departmental side.
In reply, opener Sharad Vesawkar top scored for APF with an unbeaten 35 off 54 balls that included four boundaries, while Pradeep Singh Airee struck five fours and a six in his 30-ball 33. Another opener Aasif Sheikh scored 20 off 19 balls hitting two each fours and sixes. After APF lost Shankar Rana and Sumit Maharjan in quick succession, man-of-the-match Vesawkar and skipper Prithu Baskota took the team home adding 18 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket partnership.
Dipesh Shrestha returned to take 3-25 for Gandaki, while Kishore Mahato grabbed one wicket.
In another match at the TU Stadium, Province-1 posted 228-8 in their allotted 50 overs before skipper Puspa Thapa ran riot to pack Karnali for a paltry 47 runs in 20.1 overs.
Man-of-the-match Thapa returned with the figures of 6-19 from 9.1 overs, while Mukund Yadav took 3-22 and Kamal Khatri grabbed one wicket. Nischal Rawal (17) was the lone Karnali batsman to score in double figures.
Earlier, Siddhant Lohani hit a composed half century to lead Province-1 to a fighting total. Lohani struck seven fours in his 90-ball 63. Firdosh Ansari struck two each fours and sixes in his 45 off just 37 balls, while Sunny Pun scored 63-ball 34 that included four boundaries. Skipper Puspa Thapa scored 29 off 42 balls with the help of five fours, while opener Rajan Magar (16) and Minash Thapa (13) also scored in double figures for Province-1.
Prakash Jaishi (2-67), Lalit Pyakurel (2-34) and Diwan Pun (2-30) shared six wickets among them for Karnali, while Sudan Pokhrel and Mahesh Khatri grabbed one wicket each.
A version of this article appears in print on June 01, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.