Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) played with their full strength squad in the Wai Wai Gautam Buddha International Cricket Tournament but on Friday, left arm orthodox bowler Rahul Kumar BK was enough to steer them to the final.
At the Buddha Padma grounds in Kapilvastu, Rahul – an in-and-out member of the national team – returned with the magical figures of 6-8 from 3.5 overs as TAC hammered hosts Kapilvastu Youth Cricket Development Academy (KYCDA) by eight wickets to top the second round and directly enter the final.
The tournament regulation handed a direct final spot to the team who topped second round on better run rate. In another match, Dhangadhi Cricket Academy (DCA) defeated Janakpur by 19 runs securing a berth in the semi-finals.
Dhangadhi will now meet Sound Image of Lucknow after the two teams made a second and third place finish in the second round points table.
The match between TAC and KYCDA was the highlight of the day where Rahul stole the show. KYCDA played big names in Pradeep Airee, Hashim Ansari, Shubhendu Pandey, Pushpa Thapa and Faijlur Rehman Khan but Rahul spun them to 49 all out in 12.5 overs.
Big names like Mahesh Chhetri, Anil Mandal, Rajesh Pulami, Chandra Saud, Rupesh Srivastav, Indra Kamal Manandhar, Nischal Pandey and Jitendra Mukhiya seem to have kept their strength in reserve for the championship match.
Faijlur (nine) was the only KYCDA batsman who showed aggression hitting a six but his innings abruptly ended after a run out from Jitendra who also accounted for the wicket of Pradeep (five). There was not even a single KYCDA batsman managing to reach double figures. Rupesh also took 2-10 in TAC rout.
KYCD, in their defense, did strike with the wickets of experienced openers Mahesh Chhetri and Anil Mandal but they safely reached 50-2 in 11.2 overs. Mahesh top scored with 19 off 31 with three fours, while Anil made 11 off 18 with one boundary.
Rajesh made an unbeaten 11 off eight with two fours. Sushan Bhari Shrestha picked up the wickets of Mahesh and Anil. Rahul remained not out on seven.