Rajesh Pulami Magar and Binod Bhandari blasted explosive half centuries as defending champions Pentagon International College of Kathmandu sailed into the semi-finals of the fourth SPA Cup with a slim 16-run victory over Sunrise HS School of Kanchanpur on Tuesday.
Sunrise decision to bat first back fired after Sagar Pun, Rajesh and Bhandari largely contributed to the Pentagon total of 193-6 in 20 overs. Amit Shrestha, however, kept Sunrise in the game with a brilliant 85 not out but they ultimately fall 16 runs short finishing at 177-5 in their allotted 20.
Amit, who carried the bat through the Sunrise innings, stayed on the crease and shared 60 runs for the fourth wicket with Hashim Ansari who made 21 off 13 with two fours and a six. Amit shared another unbeaten 34 with Bhim Sarki but his effort all went in vain. Sarki made 19 not out off 10 balls with two fours and a six.
Mehboob Alam picked up two wickets for 26 runs for Pentagon. Chandra Saud, Karan KC and Rahul Kumar BK also picked up a wicket each.
Earlier, Sagar made some quick runs making 36 off 31 with four boundaries and two sixes but his departure along with that of Naresh Budhayer (11), Anil Mandal (five) and Mehboob Alam (five) reduced Pentagon to 87-4 in 11.5 overs.
Bhandari and Rajesh then made merry at the pitch combining for a match-wining 106 run stand before the latter was out in the last ball of the innings. Rajesh was particularly aggressive hitting 68 off 28 balls that included six sixes and five fours.
Bhandari remained unbeaten on 56 off 37 with four boundaries and three sixes. It was Bhandari’s second half century in the tournament. Avinash Karn, Akhil Chaudhary, Sunil Dhamala and Dinesh Agri picked up a wicket each for Sunshine.