If any man that made possible for Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) to win the National Twenty20 in their debut is none other than the big hitting Binod Bhandari, a fact that everyone needs to accept with grace. The acceptance with the grace because Nepal have a player like him.
Binod had shown how perfectly he connects the ball when Nepal defeated UAE during the ACC Twenty20 Cup semi-final at the TU Stadium. In a pressure cooker situation when Nepal had needed 18 from 12 balls, Bhandari had hit two clean sixes off Arshad Ali to seal Nepal a historic spot in the ACC Twenty20 final and against APF on Friday, it was almost a repeat.
Chasing a target of 113 from 16 overs, TAC were at a precarious position of 73-4 and the man he was facing was none other than our very own veteran left arm orthodox bowler Shakti Gauchan. But Bhandari has his own style.
He stepped out and hit a huge six over long on – a six that distracted APF camp and a six that gave enough confidence on Rajesh Pulami Magar at the other end to imitate his skipper. What else, Rajesh hits another four and Shakti ends up bleeding 19 runs from the over that blew a high-flying APF away.
Bhandari was to fall prey to seamer Amrit Bhattarai when he pulled his short ball straight to Basanta Regmi at square leg and the anti climax was there as the experienced man drops the catch and with that the match.
Bhandari punishes an over pitched ball from Amrit in the same over for another flat six – once again giving confidence to Indra Kamal Manandhar to hit a boundary off the same bowler as TAC fastened their seat belts at the driving seat. The day belonged to Bhandari as TAC walk-away with a much-deserved victory for giving a perfect fight.
Friday’s innings from Bhandari is just a justification to what he is capable of doing.