NPC advance to final

Kathmandu, June 5

Nepal Police Club registered a 34-run win against Nepal APF Club and advanced to the final of the first Prime Minister Cup One-day National Men’s Cricket Tournament here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium today.

In the rain-affected semi-final match, NPC scored 252-9 after invited to take the first strike. In reply, APF were 138-6 in 28.3 overs when rain interrupted the match. As further play was not possible due to torrential rain, NPC emerged victorious under Duckworth-Lewis method as APF were 35 runs short of the revised target of 173 runs.

Batting first, NPC made a bright start with openers Sunil Dhamala (26) and Amit Shrestha (26) putting on 67 runs inside 14 overs. APF skipper Gyanendra Malla struck twice in the next over dismissing both the openers in the space of one run. Dhamala hit two boundaries and a six, while Shrestha’s innings included two boundaries.

Kushel Bhurtel then shared two important partnerships to revive the NPC innings. He added 29 runs for the third wicket with Dilip Nath (13) and had a 68-run stand with Dipendra Singh Airee, who scored 35-ball 37 hitting four boundaries. Bhurtel scored 52 off 69 balls that included four boundaries and a six.

After the fall of Bhurtel at 185-6 in the 38th over, Siddhant Lohani and Manjeet Shrestha combined to take the total past 200-run mark with a 42-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Lohani scored a quick fire 38-ball 40 that included four boundaries and six, while Shrestha struck two fours and a six in his 29-ball 22. APF’s Anil Sah claimed 3-38, while Arun Airee and Gyanendra Malla took two wickets each. Avinash Bohara and Bhuvan Karki claimed one wicket apiece.

In reply, APF made a convincing start but the top order batsmen failed to convert their knocks into big ones. Opener Subash Khakurel (17) was caught by Dipendra Singh Airee off Lalit Bhandari in the fourth ball of the 10th over with 34 runs on the board. Another opener Sandeep Sunar scored 36 off 45 balls hitting while Aasif Sheikh contributed 16. In between, APF lost Anil Sah for a duck.

Malla and Prithu Baskota combined to add 46 runs for the fifth wicket and they were on right track before the latter was run out for 19 off 21 balls that included one each four and six. Skipper Malla then lost his wicket, caught by Airee off Sushil Kandel, for 45 off 35 balls. The match was stopped as soon as Malla was dismissed and no further play was possible.

NPC’s Lalit Bhandari claimed 3-31 and Sushil Kandel took one wicket. NPC’s Kushal Bhurtel was named the man-of-the-match for his half century and got Rs 5,000, while hit team earned Rs 25,000 as match winning bonus.

On Tuesday, Tribhuvan Army Club take on Western Development Region in the second semi-final match.