SPA, New Horizon sail into semi-finals

Kathmandu, January 15

Sudur Paschimanchal Academy and New Horizon Cricket Club advanced to the semi-finals of the second Ruslan Cup Twenty20 Cricket Tournament here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium today.

In the day’s quarter-final matches, SPA defeated hosts Ruslan KCTC by 46 runs, while New Horizon recorded an eight-run win against Sharad Vesawkar-led Nepali Rhinos.

Opting to bat first, SPA scored 160-5 after skipper Rajveer Singh scored a quick fire 43-ball 62 with the help of eight boundaries.  Sandeep Dhami cracked four boundaries to add 33 off 28 balls.

SPA had a horrible start after opener Bijay Rana was run out by Nandan Yadav for a duck. However, Roman Bam (17) and Dipendra Thapa (21) anchored the innings as they shared 39 runs for the second wicket. Thapa hit four boundaries and Bam cracked three fours. A 79-run stand for the fourth wicket between skipper Singh and Dhami guided SPA to a mammoth total. Roshan Adhikari remained not out on 12 runs off seven balls hitting a boundary. Singh reached 50 in 39 balls. KCTC’s Sumit Jha and Surya Lama bagged two wickets each.

In reply, hosts KCTC managed 114-9. Opener Sumit Maharjan scored 41 off 38 hitting five boundaries and a six.

KCTC had a disastrous run chase as they lost opener Aadil Khan (three) with only 12 runs on the board and the hosts kept losing wickets at the other ends.

Sumit Jha (14), Dilip Yadav (not out 11) and skipper Sanjay Basnet (11) were other batsmen to reach double figures but that did not help SPA’s cause.

Binod Lama claimed three wickets, while Mahesh Adhikari and Amit Poudel picked up two wickets each. Bikram Thagunna and Binod Khatri took one wicket each for SPA.

In another match, New Horizon managed 104 runs in 19.1 overs and restricted Nepali Rhinos for 96-9.

Nirmal Thapa top scored with 30 off 34 cracking four boundaries, while Bikram Bhusal’s 19-ball 27 helped New Horizon reach a fighting total as he smashed a four and two sixes. Skipper Sushan Bhari (10) and Ganesh Goudel (10) also scored in double digits.

Nepali Rhinos skipper Vesawkar and Sushil Kandel shared six wickets between them, while Rupesh Shrivastav, Saurav Pela, Pawan Sarraf and Jitendra Thakuri picked up one apiece.

In reply, Nepali Rhinos had a terrible start with the bat as they were reduced to 29-7 within 9.1 overs. Sonu Tamang, who top scored with 27 runs in 24 balls, shared 16 runs with Pawan Sarraf (14 off 29) for the eighth wicket, while Sarraf added 46 runs for the ninth wicket with Shiva Tandukar (not out 19). But they were nine runs short of the victory target.

Tamang hit four boundaries and a six, while Tandukar struck two fours and Sarraf’s innings included a boundary. Krishna Karki claimed three, while Shahab Alam and Bikram Bhusal took two wickets to restrict Nepali Rhinos.

In Monday’s semi-finals, New Horizon will face Nepal Police Club, while SPA will play against Tribhuvan Army Club.