TAC down Western, set date with NPC

Kathmandu, June 6

Tribhuvan Army Club defeated Western Region by four wickets and entered 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 49-over-a-side match, Western scored 235-9 before TAC reached 241-6 with four balls to spare.

TAC could not make a desired start as opener Mahesh Chhetri (three) was bowled by Bipin Khatri in the ninth over with just 16 runs on the board. Anil Kumar Mandal and Sagar Pun shared a 108-run partnership for the second wicket to anchor the innings before both of them were dismissed by Dhiraj Shahi in the 31st over. Mandal scored 48 off 80 hitting two boundaries, while Pun top scored with 65 off 79 balls that included six boundaries and two sixes.

Man-of-the-match Rajesh Pulami was involved in two crucial partnerships to take the team home. He added 34 runs for the fourth wicket with skipper Binod Bhandari (17) and shared a 35-run stand for the fifth wicket with Raju Rijal, who hit five boundaries in his 19-ball 26. Pulami hit Western’s Saurav Khanal for two consecutive sixes in the 48th over when TAC needed 13 runs off nine balls. Pulami remained unbeaten on 53-ball 55 that included two boundaries and three sixes. Sompal Kami (10) finished the match in style with a six off Rohit Kumar Poudel.

Western’s Dhiraj Shahi took 2-42.

Earlier, Western’s innings revolved around Saurav Khanal’s 86-ball 82 and Krishna Karki’s 75 off 89 balls. Khanal hit two boundaries and eight sixes, while Karki cracked two boundaries and six sixes. Western were reeling at 66-7 in 19 overs before the pair added 145 runs for the eighth wicket. Western’s Nurdhoj Sen (26) and Bipin Khatri (10) also scored in double figures. Sen hit four boundaries, while Khatri hit a six.

Sompal Kami, Jitendra Kumar Mukhiya, Sagar Pun and Shahab Alam claimed two wickets apiece. TAC will now face Nepal Police Club in Thursday’s final.