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Baitadi get crushed but still progress

Region-VI (Baitadi) suffered a 243-run crushing from Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club but still managed to enter the semi-finals of the Senior One Day National Cricket Tournament on Saturday.


Having been tied with Bhairahawa on four points but enjoying a superior net run rate, Baitadi just needed to avoid a defeat by above 250 runs and they did exactly that. Baitadi’s run rate tumbled down to -0.587 from +1.147, enough to get the better of Bhairhawa’s -0.886.


APF finished top of the table with eight points after winning all their four matches. They will now meet Group ‘A’ runners up Region-II (Birgunj) on Monday. In another semi-final on the same day, Baitadi will square off with Tribhuvan Army Club.


Half centuries from Pradeep Airee, Dipendra Chaudhary and Prithu Baskota lifted APF to 310 all out in 49.1 overs. Pradeep and Yagyaman Kumal then did the damage in Baitadi’s top and middle order before they were folded for just 67 in 18.4 overs.


It was only about avoiding a biggest margin of defeat after Pradeep and Yagyaman removed the top six batsmen with just 15 runs on the board. Four Baitadi middle order batsmen were out for ducks with Pradeep getting rid of three.


Yagyaman returned with the figures of 4-18 from seven overs and Pradeep had 3-14 from four overs. Skipper Santosh Bhatt top scored with 18 off 35 with three boundaries and last man Rabi Chand (16) was their next batsman to make runs in double figures. Basanta Regmi also took two wickets for APF.


APF lost their openers Paresh Lohani (two) and Subash Khakurel (four) to Kamal Airee with just 16 runs on the board before man-of-the-match Pradeep began his carnage. Pradeep did the bulk of the scoring in his 70-run partnership with Aarif Sheikh (23) and 51-run stand with Prithu before losing his wicket to Santosh Bhatt.


Pradeep slammed 13 boundaries and a six making 79 off 68. Baitadi camp thought that getting rid of Pradeep was gaining an upper hand but the worst was yet to come.


Dipendra combined with Prithu for a century stand (119 runs) for the fifth wicket to unsettle Baitadi bowlers. Dipendra hit 11 boundaries in his 52-ball 69. Prithu chipped in 53 off 70 hitting six boundaries.


Yogendra Karki picked up 4-47 and Kamal snapped 3-58 from their 10-over spells. Basanta Regmi (26) also contributed some runs down the order.

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