TAC beat departmental rivals NPC, defend title

Sunsari, January 18

Tribhuvan Army Club defended the title of the Manmohan Memorial National One-Day Cricket Tournament here at the Inaruwa grounds today.

TAC defeated departmental rivals Nepal Police Club by 99 runs in the final of the second edition. Put into bat first, the Armymen were bowled out for 184 runs in 48.5 overs before packing NPC for a paltry 99 runs with 152 balls to spare.

AC also avenged the PM Cup final loss against NPC at the TU Stadium in Kathmandu last year. TAC made a disastrous start losing openers Anil Mandal and Raju Rijal with just 30 runs on the board before Rohit Kumar Paudel, Bhim Sharki, Kushal Malla and Hari Bahadur Chauhan fell cheaply.

The TAC came under further pressure at 116-7 after Rajesh Pulami Magari was dismissed in the 28th over. Skipper Binod Bhandari and Bikram Sob shared a 53-run partnership for the eighth wicket to help the team post a respectable total.

Bhandari top scored with 40 off 66 balls, while Magar contributed 49-ball 31 and opener Rijal chipped in 22 off 36 balls.

The three batsmen struck four boundaries each. Sob (15), Malla (13) and Paudel (11) also scored in double figures but they could not convert them into big knocks. Paudel struck the lone six of the innings.

Dipendra Singh Airee (3-27), Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi (3-32) and Sagar Dhakal (3-29) shared nine wickets among them for NPC, while Pawan Sarrad grabbed one.

In reply, NPC lost opener Pawan Sarraf for a duck in the third ball of the innings and the batsmen failed to build partnerships as only three players could score in double figures.

Kushal Bhurtel top scored for the team with 27-ball 31 hitting three fours and two sixes, while Amit Shrestha struck four boundaries in his 23 off 28 balls. Anil Kumar Sah contributed 21 off 18 balls hitting one each four and six.

Man-of-the-match Sushan Bhari was the pick of the TAC bowlers taking 4-24 from six overs, and he was ably supported by fellow left-arm spinner Shahab Alam, who grabbed 3-33 in 6.4 overs.

Kushal Malla claimed 2-15, while Bikram Sob pocketed a wicket.

Bhari also bagged the player of the series award, while TAC teammate Kushal Malla was named the best batsman of the tournament. Binod Lama of Sudurpashschim received the best bowler’s award. Bhari earned Rs 55,000, while Malla and Lama received Rs 21,000 each. Along with the trophy, TAC received Rs 400,000, while NPC got Rs 200,000.

A total of 12 teams took part in the tournament organised by Province-1 Committee of Manmohan Memorial Cricket Centre. Former Tourism Minister Bhim Prasad Acharya, MMCC President Thakur Gaire, Inaruwa Municipality Mayor Shambhu Acharya and MMCC Province-1 Committee President Biplav Ghosh handed over the prizes to the winners.