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Sensational NPC comeback leaves Bagmati stunned in low-scoring thriller

Nepal Police Club (NPC) eked out a narrow two-run victory over Bagmati Province in their first match of the Mayor’s Cup on Saturday.

On a tricky Mulpani Cricket Ground pitch where both teams collapsed, NPC managed to avenge their seven-wicket loss in the Prime Minister Cup where they were bundled out for a paltry 110 at the TU grounds on the third week of January.

Saturday was even worse for NPC after they were skittled out for just 72 in 25.2 overs in the match reduced to 38-over-a-side due to rain. Bagmati were well on course at 43-2 but once they lost skipper Gyanendra Malla, their innings crumbled.

Losing their last eight wickets for just 27 runs, Bagmati were 70 all out in 27.2 overs. NPC made full use of their spin power picking up nine wickets and when Bagmati needed three runs with one wicket in hand, fast bowler Rashid Khan bowled Bipin Acharya (eight) to end their innings.

Four Bagmati batsmen, including former national team skipper Paras Khadka, were out for duck. Although the pitch was not helping their cause, Bagmati had the match in their grasp with skipper Gyanendra holding firm.

But Dipendra bowled Gyanendra as Bagmati struggle began. NPC spinners began to hold grip in the game and at the same time kept striking at regular intervals. Dipendra took 4-24 and Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi had the figures of 3-22 from their collective 16 overs.

Sagar Dhakal, who got rid of in-form Prithu Baskota (nine), bowled miserly taking 2-13 from eight overs.

Earlier, NPC began losing wickets from the fourth over as Nandan Yadav destroyed their top order picking up three wickets. 19-year old spinner Ariyo Poudel destroyed the middle order taking 4-7 from four overs.

Captain Manjeet Shrestha top scored for the Policemen with 15 runs, while Sunil Dhamala, Anil Kumar Sah and Dilip Nath were others to reach double figures with 10 runs each.

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