KATHMANDU: Tribhuvan Army Club outplayed Bagmati Province by 94 runs to advance to the final of the Prime Minister Cup Men's National Cricket Tournament here at the TU Stadium today.
Batting first, TAC were bowled out for 229 runs in 50 overs before packing Bagmati for 135 runs with 58 balls to spare. TAC will face fellow departmental side Nepal APF Club in Saturday's final. The final will be fourth for the TAC, who shared the trophy with NPC in the first edition in 2017. The Armymen lost to APF and Nepal Police Club respectively in the next two editions.
Invited to take first strike, TAC made a horrible start losing Anil Mandal (two), Rohit Paudel (naught) and Hari Chauhan (three) with just 17 runs on the board. Bhim Sharki and Lokesh Bam added 56 runs for the fourth wicket before Rajesh Pulami and Bikram Sob shared a 92-runs partnership for the seventh wicket to help the team post a fighting total.
Man-of-the-match Pulami top scored with 65 off 91 balls with the help of four boundaries and two sixes, while Sharki struck five fours and a six in his 61-ball 40. Sob contributed 35 off 58 balls hitting three fours, while Bam hit two fours and a six in his 3-ball 23. Sushan Bhari hit one each four and six in his 11-ball 16, while skipper Binod Bhandari (10) contributed in double figure. The TAC total was also bolstered with 35 sundries including 26 wides.
Gautam KC completed the five-wicket haul claiming 5-61 from 10 overs but he ended up in losing side after the Bagmati batsmen choked when it mattered the most.
Ram Naresh Giri, Nandan Yadav, Tilak Bhandari and Bipin Acharya also bagged one wicket each.
In reply, Bagmati batsmen lost their cool and five of them were already in the dressing room with just 18 runs on the board. Aakash Thapa (naught), Aadil Khan (10), Prithu Baskota (one), Bibhatsu Thapa (four) and Ishan Pandey (naught) were dismissed cheaply after Jitendra Mukhiya and Bikram Sob ran riot.
Skipper Gyanendra Malla and Bipin Acharya steadied the ship adding 54 runs for the sixth wicket but Bagmati saw another collapse losing the last four wickets for 37 runs. Malla, who is also the national team skipper, top scored with 47 off 60 balls that included four boundaries, while Acharya contributed 23 off 47 hitting three fours and Nandan Yadav remained unbeaten on 52-ball 22 that included two fours and a six.
Mukhiya was the pick of the TAC bowlers taking 4-24 from 8.2 overs, while Sob (3-25) and Sushan Bhari (3- 36) bagged three wickets each.