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Army outright champions of Prime Minister Cup

Tribhuwan Army Club (TAC) appeared as the outright winners for the first time of the Prime Minister Cup One Day National cricket tournament with a 34-run victory over Nepal APF Club on Saturday.

In a closely-contested final at the TU grounds where more than 5,000 thronged to watch the final, Abinash Bohora’s four-wicket haul helped APF restrict the first edition joint champions to 211-9 in 50 overs.

Jitendra Mukhiya jolted the APF chase reducing their fellow departmental side to 21-2 with a double strike including the first-ball dismissal of captain Sharad Vesawkar before Aasif Sheikh held the innings.

Despite losing Aasif, APF seemed they were cruising towards their second title, Bikram Sob removed set batsman Sundeep Jora, ultimately dismissing their opponents for 178 in 41.3 overs.

Along with the title, Army collected a cash purse of Rs 1 million and runners-up APF took home Rs 500,000. It was also a sweet revenge for Army who had lost to the same side in the 2018 edition.

Aasif looked in a sublime form while rebuilding the innings with a 71-run partnership for the third wicket with Shankar Rana (21). APF then began losing their wickets once losing Aasif to Jitendra Mukhiya in the 27th over with the scores reading 117-4.

APF counted on Sandeep Jora and once Bikram Sob had him caught by Hari Chaudhan at short mid-wicket, they were folded just 15 balls later. Jora made 29 off 37 with a six and a four.

Aasif scored his third half century of the tournament making 61 from 71 with eight boundaries and a six. Jitendra, Bikram and Shahab Alam took three wickets each for Army.

Earlier, Army surprised with the experiment of sending spinner Sushan Bhari Shrestha to open the innings but it hardly mattered as they were reduced to 47-3 in 17.1 overs. Hari Chauhan held the innings with a 102-ball 58 with six hits to the fence.

Rajesh Pulami was their next best scorer making 28 from 29 but it was Shahab who pushed Army beyond 200-run mark with a 14-ball 25 with two fours and a six.

Abinash Bohora was the pick of the APF bowlers taking 25-4 from 10 overs. Kishor Mahato also had two scalps, while Kamal Singh Airee, Bhuwan Karki and Sharad also took a wicket each.

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