Sunshine College of Bhairahawa made most of their Indian recruits in overhauling a mammoth target to reach the semi-finals of the fourth SPA Cup with a seven-wicket victory over hosts Sudur Paschimanchal Academy in Dhangadi on Thursday.
SPA were already counting their chickens when they posted a huge 239-6 in 20 overs. However, Indian Subodh Srivastav and Mayank Yadav punished the SPA bowling attack with aggressive knocks before reaching 243-3 in 19.1 overs.
Shankar Rana took the first initiative collecting 47 runs in 5.1 overs for the first wicket with Subodh on his way to make 24 off 18 with three boundaries and a six. After Shankar departed, Subodh leased a new life in Sunshine innings stitching 101-run partnership with Mayank.
Subodh hammered 87 off 42 with seven boundaries and six sixes. The departure of Subodh might have given some relief to SPA but Mayank had other ideas. Mayank went on to share another 36 for the third wicket with Nischal Chaudhary.
Nischal did the bulk of scoring in the partnership making 32 off 15 with four boundaries and two sixes before losing his wicket to Dipendra Airee. SPA were still in the game with Sunshine requiring a huge 54 from just 22 balls remaining in the game.
However, Mayank was there to save the day for Sunshine. He smashed SPA bowlers all across the park and did it in just 17 balls forging a crucial unbroken 57-run stand with Sabin Shakya. Sabin made 18 off seven with two fours and a six.
Mayank, who was lifted by the locals who had turned up to watch the game, made 73 not out off 33 balls smashing five sixes and six boundaries. Bikram Thagunna and Sharad Vesawkar picked up a wicket each for SPA.
The hosts, earlier, were the mirror image of Sunshine innings when Subash Khakurel and Pradeep Airee began with a 45-run partnership in 4.2 overs. Pradeep hammered 26 off 13 with three boundaries and two sixes.
Subash guided SPA towards a big total forging a 110-run stand for the second with Sharad who made 47 off 28 with six boundaries and three sixes. However, the SPA surge came to a brief halt when they lost both set batsmen along with Subendu Pandey (duck) and Alpes Ramjani (nine) in a space of 18 runs.
Subash top scored with 77 off 48 with seven boundaries and three sixes. Skipper Bhuwan Karki and Dipendra resumed the onslaught combining for a 52-run partnership. Karki was out for 29 off 12 with two sixes and two boundaries, while Dipendra chipped in 38 off 10 with four sixes and two fours.
Shankar Rana picked up two wickets for Sunshine, while Sabin, Dipendra Yadav and Mayank also had a scalp apiece. Sunshine will now meet Holyland HS School of Nepalgunj with holders Pentagon meeting New Horizon of Butwal in the first semi-final.