Sharad Vesawkar finally broke his duck scoring a half century in 10th innings and put Nepal APF Club into the final of the Mayor’s Cup cricket tournament on Thursday.
Needing a victory to fix Saturday’s final date with Nepal Police Club, APF defeated Mayor’s XI by seven wickets at the Mulpani Cricket Ground where the skipper got involved in an unbroken century stand with Sundeep Jora.
APF finished with three victories to finish second at the table ahead of Bagmati Province, Tribhuvan Army Club and Mayor’s XI. Only the table toppers after a single round robin league would reach the final.
Electing to field first, APF clawed their way back into the game skittling out Mayor’s XI for just 177 in 48.5 overs. They were 57-3 by the 16th over before Sharad and Jora sensibly set sail their ship with 35 balls to spare.
APF lost their in-form opener Aasif Sheikh (duck) in the first over before Sharad and Shankar Rana shared 43 runs for the second wicket. Shankar hit five fours in a 49-ball 31 and fell prey to left arm spinner Anil Kharel.
After Bhuwan Karki (11) didn’t last long, Sharad and Jora shared 121 runs for the fourth wicket leading their side into the final. Not being able to score a half century in his previous nine innings, Sharad made 61 off 118. He completed his half century off a six from a Sandeep Lamichhane free-hit and also stroked five boundaries throughout the innings.
Jora hit the winning boundary off Siddhant Lohani and scored a gritty 79-ball 62. His innings included nine boundaries.
Earlier, Mayor’s XI were 44-2 by the 10th over before Sandeep Rajali and Hari Shankar Sah rebuilt the innings with a 65-run stand for the third wicket. But after both batsmen fell in a space of two runs, Mayor’s XI innings came crumbling down.
The team assembled with the inclusion of best players from the Prime Minister Cup lost their last eight wickets for just 68 runs. Sandeep top scored with a 83-ball 48 and Hari Shankar scored 36 from 57 hitting two sixes and as many boundaries.
Abinash Bohora (3-41) and Kamal Singh Airee (3-25) shared six wickets between them for APF.