Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club put an allround display to claim the title of the Prime Minister Cup Twenty20 National tournament with a 21-run victory over departmental rivals Nepal Police Club (NPC) on Wednesday.
Title contenders NPC were left ruing the absence of batting ace and opener Kushal Bhurtel and fast bowling allrounder Karan KC as in his absence APF managed to put on 157 all out in 19.5 overs.
Kushal, who was later adjudged the best batsman of the tournament for his four-game exploits, was dearly missed as NPC struggled to recover from their early wobble and could only manage 136-7 in 20 overs.
Kishore Mahato and Abinash Bohora were pivotal in APF’s victory as the fast bowling duo held firm in the last three overs when NPC needed 38 runs. The two bowlers collectively conceded just seven runs in the next two to seal the victory for APF.
NPC could only manage nine from the final over. Kishore was the man-of-the-match for his 17-3 from four overs.
The victory meant heart break for Dipendra Singh Airee who gave an allround display having restricted APF below 160 witht the figures of 3-22 from four overs.
He was the lone fighter for NPC with the bat making a 53-ball 65 that included three fous and two sixes.
APF came into the final having smashed another title contender Tribhuvan Army Club for 236 a day before. NPC made sure they don’t even get closer to that mark with Dipendra and left arm spinner Sagar Dhakal wreaking havoc in the middle order once seamer Gulshan Jha got rid of opener Aasif Sheikh.
Aasif, the best player of the tournament with 227 runs under his belt, nicked a catch to Dilip Nath in the second over failing for the first time in the tournament. Sagar bowled Pradeep Airee (seven) and Dipendra removed Lokesh Bam as all three destroyers from Tuesday’s semi-final were back to the pavilion.
Lokesh looked on his usual attacking mood smashing three sixes and a four in a 15-ball 27. Skipper Sharad Vesawkar (19) and Sandeep Jora (24) got the starts but when they were dismissed APF were reeling at 104-7 in 14.3 overs.
Amar Singh Routel played a decisive knock of a 15-ball 29 while sharing 42 runs for the eighth wicket with Bhuwan Karki (17) taking his side close to what ultimately was a winning total.
Amar’s innings included three sixes and two fours. Sagar and Dipendra took two wickets each for APF, while Gulshan also had two scalps.