Kushal Malla smashed a sensational century in an
innings studded with 13 sixes as Tribhuvan Army Club hammered Nepal Armed
Police Force (APF) in the MM Cup One Day National cricket tournament on Sunday.
In what could be a knock out blow for APF, Kushal’s scintillating
knock helped Army amass 281 in 46 overs. APF, in reply, were shut down for 173
in 39.3 overs handing 108-run to the Armymen. Only the top team from three team
pool will qualify for the semi-final and its Army who now have their one foot
in the final.
Anything that stole the day was Kushal’s explosive
knock who batted like he was playing a Twenty20 match, that too without
respecting a decent bowling attack of APF that included the settled names of
Nepali domestic cricket.
Army were 38-2 inside 15 overs before Kushal launched
his assault. He did the majority of scoring in two crucial partnerships of 85
runs for the third wicket with opener Anil Mandal and 72 runs for the fourth
with Rohit Kumar Paudel (26). Anil made 41 off 88 with four hits to the fence.
Kushal smashed five sixes in a 63-ball 111 before
Rajesh Pulami Magar lifted them across 280 with a 24-ball 38 that included two
sixes and as many boundaries. Veteran left arm spinner Basanta Regmi took 4-54
from 10 overs for APF.
APF’s chase was jolted with third-ball dismissal of
their opener Aasif Sheikh. The middle order did get the start but never managed
to build good partnerships. Shankar Rana and Pradeep Airee (21) added 51 runs
for the second wicket but after that their struggle began.
Prithu Baskota top scored for APF with a 37-ball 36
with two sixes and two boundaries. Shankar made a 41-ball 32. He hit four
boundaries and a six but other batsmen failed to put any tangible total to the
Left arm spinner Shahab Alam took 4-31 from nine
overs for the Armymen and Kushal had an allround day taking 2-24 from four
overs. On Monday, APF will take on hosts Manmohan Memorial Cricket Club of