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NCS underline title credentials, Kasthmandap in semis

Rit Gautam made his third consecutive half century of the Sponsor U-16 Academy Cup as Nepal Cricket School (NCS) underlined their title credentials with a crushing 200-run victory over Syangja Cricket Academy ‘B’ on Thursday.

Meanwhile in a must-win game for both sides, Kasthmandap Cricket Academy edged Machhapuchhre Cricket Academy (MCA) by 25 runs to seal a place in the semi-finals from Group ‘A’.

NCS dominating performance was the highlight of the day as they amassed a tournament-high 247-2 in 20 overs after three of their batsmen made merry at the pitch including Rit. Syangja were bundled out for just 47 runs in 16.4 overs after man-of-the-match Birat Bhandari and Pratish GC took four wickets each.

NCS finished unbeaten in Group ‘B’ with six points from three games and will be followed by Pokhara Cricket Academy in the semi-finals. The group winners will play Kasthmandap in Friday’ssemi-final, while Pokhara will be up against Group ‘A’ winners Makawanpur Cricket Academy.

Opener Sachin Sharma and Rit laid the foundation for a huge NCS total sharing 114 runs for the second wicket. Rit was particularly aggressive as he hammered 78 runs from just 35 balls with eight boundaries and six sixes.

Sachin then shared another 127-run unbeaten partnership with Birat, the allrounder making 30-ball 57 not out hitting four boundaries and as many sixes. Sachin was unbeaten on 80 from 51 balls with six sixes and three fours.

In the first match of the day, Kasthmandap made 133-8 and their bowlers shut down MCA innings at 107 in 19.3 overs. Krishna Poudel raised some hopes making 32 off 26 balls with three fours and a six but his departure in the 17th over virtually ended MCA challenge.

Sandeep Chhantyal (16) and Safal Poudel (15) also made runs in double figures for MCA. For Kasthamandap, man-of-the-match Safal Shrestha picked up 4-22 from four overs and was ably supported by Ram Surat Yadav who took 3-17 from 3.4 overs.

Earlier, Irfan Khan was the leading scorer from the top order for Kasthmandap making 17 off 26 with two fours. They were still not safe at 103-7 in 14.2 overs but Ishan Arjel (16 not out) and Ugen Sherchan (10) combined for a 25-run partnership to help their team put challenging total in the board. Subash Poudel took two wickets for MCA.

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