Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club made their way into the semi-finals of the Senior One-Day National Cricket Tournament with a crushing eight-wicket victory over Region 9 Dhangadhi at the TU grounds on Friday.
APF after their third consecutive victory have six points and will meet Region 6 Baitadi in the last league game on Saturday.
In the next match held at Pulchowk Engineering College grounds Baitadi crashed to a shock one-wicket defeat to Region 4 Bhairahawa on Friday.
Baitadi and Bhairahawa are tied on four points each with the former needing to make sure that they don’t lose their last game against APF with a huge margin.
In Kirtipur, Basanta Regmi completed a five-wicket haul as APF thrashed out Dhangadi for a tournament-low 70 in just 27 overs. APF reached 71-2 in just 13.1 overs with opener Subash Khakurel (23) and Pradeep Airee (19) easing the chase. APF lost Paresh Lohani for his personal six runs while to score on the board was 23 runs board before Khakurel and Airee put on 44 runs for the second wicket.
Earlier, Airee took two and Yagyaman Kumal had one scalp as Dhangadi were reduced to 22-3 9.4 overs. Gyanendra Kunwar offered a brief resistance with a 30-run stand with Dipendra Chand (four) before Regmi wreaked havoc. Gyanendra made 35 off 60 with four fours and a six before he was removed by Bhuwan Karki. Regmi finished with the figures of 5-7 from five overs.
In Pulchowk, Baitadi were 133 all out in 29 overs before Bhairahawa crawled to 137-9 in 26.4 overs after Nischal Chaudhary held his nerve to hand his team a much-needed victory. Opener Faizlur Rehman Khan smashed 42 off 24 balls with eight boundaries but a five-wicket haul from Kamal Airee reduced Bhairahawa to 91-8 in 15.5 overs.
No 3 Nischal Chauhdary and Bishnu Pandey (16) rescued Bhairahawa with a 39-run ninth wicket stand before Prem Tamang dismissed the latter to leave Baitadi with just one wicket away from victory. Chaudhary, however, held firm to guide his team home scoring 42 not out from 54 balls with three boundaries and a six.
Yogendra Karki also picked up three wickets for Baitadi. Earlier, Tamang and Surendra Chand (17) took Baitadi close to triple figures but they went on to lose their last eight wickets for just 53 runs. Tamang made 44 off 40 with six boundaries. Sushan Bhari Shrestha picked up 4-26 from 10 overs for Bhairhawa and Lal Bahadur Adhikari had the figures of 31-3 from nine overs.