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APF stun NPC to set title date with Army

Jun 09, 2018 | Parbati Lama |

Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) set the Prime Minister Cup One Day National cricket tournament title clash with Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) after stunning Nepal Police Club (NPC) by nine runs under Duckworth/Lewis method in a rain-affected second semi-final on Saturday.

Electing to bat first at the Tribhuvan University Stadium, a top and middle order contribution lifted APF to 208 all out in 48.5 overs for a total that still didn’t look safe against a comparatively strong NPC side. The match was evenly poised at 59-2 in 14.4 overs before rain intervened and the last year’s joint runners-up were given a revised target of 141 in 28 overs.

The match turned into its head in the first 15 minutes of the resumption after APF took four wickets in a space of 17 runs before a disciplined bowling from fast bowlers in the closing stages restricted NPC to 131-9. With three wickets left, NPC needed 16 runs in the last over bowled by Amar Singh Routela and pinned their hopes on Kushal Bhurtel.

But Kushal ran himself out while stealing a double off the first ball after an excellent throw from Pawan Sarraf and equally good collection from wicketkeeper Anil Sah ended NPC hopes. Kushal top scored for his side with a run-a-ball 30 that included two fours and a six.

Kushal had kept NPC in the game with a 30-run stand for the seventh wicket with Siddhant Lohani (10) after a run out of set opener Sunil Dhamala triggered a collapse in the game. Sunil was run out for a 50-ball 24 having hit three boundaries in his innings. But the real impact was done by man-of-the-match Amar Singh Routela who removed NPC’s best batsmen Dipendra Singh Airee (14) and Aarif Sheikh (two) in the 16th over.

Next over, skipper Basanta Regmi got rid of his NPC counterpart Manjeet Shrestha that made life difficlut for the Policemen. Amar took 3-30 and Basanta had the figures of 2-33.

Earlier, Anil Sah and Subash Khakurel (21) began with a 57-run first wicket stand. Anil and Pradeep Airee (24) took the team close to triple figures before both batsmen were dismissed in a space of three runs. From 103-3, Prithu Baskota and Rohit Kumar Paudel shared 63 runs for the fourth wicket but they made a big struggle in crossing 200-run mark.

Prithu made 40 off 48 with five boundaries and Rohit chipped 32 off 56 with two hits to the fence. Basanta made 14 off 18 down the order. Dipendra took 3-41 from 10 overs, while Aarif and Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi also took two wickets each.


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