One-match young fast bowler Gulshan Jha starred in his first final of a major tournament picking up four wickets as Nepal Police Club claimed the Mayor’s Cup cricket tournament title on Saturday.
The Prime Minister Cup champions Police hammered Nepal APF Club by eight wickets after the expectations over a pulsating final flattened in the first innings itself.
To the disappointment of few hundreds of supporters, APF were shut down for just 105 runs in 29.4 overs before NPC reached the target in 24 overs losing two wickets. Sunil Dhamala remained unbeaten on 59 off 82 hitting seven fours and two sixes in NPC’s crushing win.
Dhamala shared 33 runs for the first wicket with Kushal Bhurtel (15) and 35 runs for the second wicket with Anil Kumar Sah (15). He struck Abinash for two sixes over deep fine leg. Abinash and Bhuwan Karki took a wicket each for APF.
Dipendra Singh Airee was unbeaten on 11 and hit the winning six off Bohora over square leg. Bhuwan Karki and Abinash took a wicket each
Gulshan had impressed with his pace and bounce in his first competitive game against Mayor XI going wicketless. But his peculiar capability bore fruit in the final as the youngster consistently troubled NPC batsmen right from the word go.
He had opener Shankar Rana caught by Anil Shah at slips with a rising ball. Aasif Sheikh fell for a duck in the next over to Sagar Dhakal before Gulshan struck again. But this time controversy struck.
APF captain Sharad Vesawkar was given out caught behind off another bouncer from Gulshan by umpire Buddhi Bahadur Pradhan but in the replays the ball appeared be missing the bat before getting a deviation from shoulder.
From 10-3, Bhuwan Karki (14) and Sundeep Jora resisted for a while before Gulshan came to the fore again. Another short ball from Gulshan saw Bhuwan getting a thick edge to wicket-keeper Dilip Nath.
Jora fell to Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi, trapped leg before and Pawan Sarraf’s dismissal of Sumit Maharjan left APF reeling at 61-6. APF had seen their lower middle order push them to unlikely victories at crunch situations.
It initially seemed Basanta Regmi and Amar Singh Routela were going to continue that tradition. But their partnership didn’t last long after Sagar bowled Routela to end the 30-run stand. Basanta fell one ball later to the same bowler becoming APF’s top scorer with 41-ball 22 with three boundaries.
Jora and Amar were APF’s second best scorer with 18 runs apiece. Gulshan (4-36) and Sagar (4-28) shared eight wickets between them for NPC.