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Armymen sail into semi-finals

Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) underlined their title credentials defeating Region-VIII (Pokhara) by three wickets to enter the semi-final of the Senior One Day National Cricket Tournament on Saturday.

 

The fourth win in as many Group ‘A’ matches saw TAC confirm their progress to the knock out stage with eight points. In another Group ‘A’ match, Region-I (Biratnagar) hammered Region-VII (Janakpur) by eight wickets to climb to the third spot with four points from four matches.

 

 

Region-II (Birgunj) are second in the table with six points and Region-V Nepalgunj) are fourth. Pokhara are fifth with two points, while Janakpur lost their fourth consecutive match and are out of contention.

 

Bidhan Shrestha scored an unbeaten half century as Pokhara made 196-8. Opener Mahesh Chhetri led a composed TAC reply making 70 off 121 as they reached 199-7 in 45.4 overs.

 

From 57-3, Mahesh took the responsibility sharing identical 47-run stand with Rahul Kumar BK and Rajesh Pulami for the fourth and fifth wicket. Rahul made some quick runs smashing two sixes and as many boundaries in his 28-ball 33.

 

Mahesh’s innings finally came to an end when Sushil Kandel bowled him after hitting 11 boundaries. TAC then lost skipper Binod Bhandari (seven) but Rajesh and Indra Kamal Manandhar (22) combined for a 35-run stand to guide the team home.

 

Rajesh was 26 not out off 53 with two boundaries. Nischal Pandey and Karan KC picked up two wickets each for Pokhara.

 

Earlier, Bidhan held firm although wickets kept on tumbling from the other end. He made 58 not out from 91 balls with six boundaries. Sanjosh Bhattarai was Pokhara’s next best contributor with 30 off 75 that included three hits to the fence. Avinash Karn, Bikram Sob and Magar picked up two wickets each for TAC.

 

At the TU grounds, a collective bowling effort helped Biratnagar bundle out Janakpur for 161 in 42.3 overs. Mehboob then played a quick fire knock guiding his team to 167-2 in 24.2 overs.

 

Biratnagar were 79-2 losing Sunny Pun (14) and Avinash Karna (23). Mehboob and Puspa Thapa combined for an unbeaten 88-run partnership in a successful run chase.

 

Mehboob completed his second half century of the tournament making 68 off 49 with seven boundaries and four sixes. Thapa made 42 off 55 with six boundaries and a six. Man-of-the-match Mehboob also starred with the ball picking up two wickets in Janakpur innings that never looked comfortable.

 

No 7 batsman Kundan Singh top scored for Janakpur with 32 off 48 hitting three fours, while No 8 Sumit Chandra Dev contributed 41-ball 23 with three boundaries and a six. Mohammad Hazrat Ali took 3-34 from 10 overs with Manjeet Shrestha and Lakpa Lama also picking up two wickets apiece.

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