Defending champions Nepal APF Club set the Pepsi Standard Chartered National Twenty20 Cricket Tournament title clash with newly-formed Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) at the TU Stadium on Thursday.
After persistent rain forced the abandonment of the first semi-final between TAC and Region No 2 (Birgunj) with the former making it through by the virtue of Group ‘A’ winners, APF crushed Region No 3 (Kathmandu) by 83 runs for a clinical finish.
The second semi-final was also heading towards an abandonment with further rain delaying the process but umpires finally prepared for a 13-over match where APF hugely dominated.
Put to bat first, a late onslaught from Sharad Vesawkar lifted APF to a mammoth 143-4 and with a mountain to climb and that too against a team that contains experienced bowlers, Kathmandu could only put 60 runs on the board.
Yagya Man Kumar picked one wicket in his debut with APF, while Shakti Gauchan and Bhuwan Karki also had one scalp apiece. Suraj KC hit two sixes off Bhuwan making 16 off 18 and Bivatsu Thapa was 14 not out off 13. Opener Sujan Maharjan hit two boundaries in his 22-ball 11.
Earlier, Kathmandu had thought that they managed to contain APF batsmen reducing them to 4-47 after 6.2 overs but man-of-the-match Sharad had some other ideas.
Sharad clobbered three sixes and four boundaries making 53 off 21. Sharad shared an unbroken 96-run stand with skipper Paras Khadka collecting almost a triple figure runs in the last 26 balls. Paras smashed 35 off 22 with three sixes and a boundary.
Subash Khakurel made 20 off 19 in the top order with two fours. Som Pal Thapa took two wickets for Kathmandu, while Niraj Bhattarai had one. The final will be held on Friday.
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