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Rain the culprit as departmental giants share trophy

Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) and Nepal Police Club (NPC) shared the first Prime Minister Cup after rain played spoilsport in the final at the TU Stadium on Thursday.

NPC, however, were exposed of their 50-over frailties against a strong team after they were dismissed for a lowly 126 runs in 45.1 overs as TAC were unlucky not to return as victors in the game that they had an upper hand.

NPC were also bundled out for just 113 runs in their league stage game before TAC sprinted towards a seven-wicket victory. But the repeat of the league stage only completed half way on Thursday as the umpires deemed the ground unplayable after the groundsmen tried their best to dry up the ground.

TAC were batting on 7-1 from 2.3 overs after losing their opener Mahesh Chhetri (four). Both teams got a share of three million – with the winners supposed to be getting two million and the runners-up one million provided the match was completed.

NPC once again collapsed in the game after Sompal Kami removed opener Amit Shrestha (four) in the first over and Jitendra Mukhiya got rid of in-form Dilip Nath (nine) early in the game. Dipendra Singh Airee (19) and Sunil Dhamala offered a brief resistance before Sagar Pun trapped the former leg before wicket.

Sushan Bhari Shrestha then broke the backbone of NPC batting sending back Aarif Sheikh (four) and Kushal Bhurtel (15) cheaply and capped a successful final with the wicket of Sunil who top scored with a 90-ball 32 with two fours and a six.

Siddhan Lohani and Sushil Kandel (12) stretched the game bringing NPC’s highest partnership of the day collecting 34 runs for the eighth wicket in a stand that lasted for 87 deliveries. Siddhant was out for 20 off 42 with a six and a four as Jitendra polished off the tail with three lower order wickets.

Jitendra returned the figures of 4-28 from 8.1 overs and Sushan returned the figures of 3-19 from nine overs with three maiden. Sagar Pun also took 2-30 from 10.

Sagar ended up collecting the man-of-the-series award that won him a cash purse of Rs 100,000, while Saurav Khanal of Western Region and Bhari were declared the best batsmen and bowler respectively. The two got Rs 50,000 apiece. Losing semi-finalists Nepal APF Club and Western got Rs 50,000 each.

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