Rhinos stun APF Club; White House triumph

Kathmandu, January 12

Nepali Rhinos and Himalayan White House College advanced to the quarter-finals of the second Ruslan Cup Twenty20 Cricket Tournament here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium today.

Rhinos defeated star-studded Nepal APF Club by five wickets, while White House registered a 106-run victory over PC Fighter-XI. The Rhinos will face either New Horizon Cricket Club of Butwal or Kuleshwor Cricket Club, whereas White House set date with Nepal Police Club.

In the day’s second match, Nepal APF Club posted a mediocre 123-8 in 20 overs before the Rhinos reached 125-5 with four balls to spare. Bhuwan Karki top scored for APF with 33 off just 16 balls hitting three fours and two sixes, while openers Subash Khakurel and Aasif Sheikh and skipper Paras Khadka contributed 18 runs each. Former APF player, Sharad Vesawkar was the pick of the Rhinos bowlers taking 2-16, while Sushil Kandel, Pawan Sarraf, Rijan Dhakal and Rupesh Shrivastav claimed one wicket each.

In reply, the Rhinos came under pressure when they lost three wickets for 29 runs and were reduced to 79-5 at one stage. But skipper Vesawkar and Sonu Tamang added 46 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket partnership to guide the team home without further loss. Tamang top scored with an unbeaten 33 off just 14 balls that included four boundaries and two sixes, while Vesawkar scored 25-ball 20.

Jitendra Thakuri struck three fours and a six in his 31-ball 32, while Sanjay Shrestha scored a quickfire 26 off 16 balls that included four boundaries and a six. Basant Regmi took 2-11 off four overs for APF, while Bhuban Karki and Paras Khadka claimed one wicket each. Vesawkar was named the man-of-the-match.

In the first match, White House posted 179-9 riding on Mehboob Alam’s half century and packed PC Fighter for 62 runs in 16 overs. Alam struck five boundaries and four sixes in his 45-ball 51. Shubendu Pandey scored 28-ball 38 that included eight boundaries, while Pranit Thapa Magar scored 32 off just 18 balls hitting five fours and a six and Amar Singh Rautela scored 19-ball 25 that included two fours. Chandra Dev Joshi took 3-24 for PC Fighter, while Chandra Dev Pant and Arun Chand pocketed two wickets each.

In reply, skipper Naresh Chand (22) and Arun Chand (12) were the only two batsmen who scored in double figures for PC Fighter. Their innings included four fours and two sixes. The former national team opener Alam returned to take three wickets conceding just two runs in his four-over spell, while Sandeep Dhungana and Hasim Ansari took two wickets each for White House. Alam was named the man-of-the-match for his allround performance.