Dipendra, Aarif star for NPC
- PM Cup One-Day National cricket
Jun 7, 2018-Dipendra Singh Airee and Aarif Sheikh put on splendid battling display with an unbroken century stand to lead Nepal Police Club (NPC) to a seven-wicket victory over Province No 5 in the Prime Minister Cup One-Day National Cricket Tournament on Wednesday.
The result meant unbeaten NPC finished at the top of Group ‘B’ with seven points and will now meet Group ‘A’ runners-up Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club on Saturday. Province 5, who qualified for the last four as pool runners-up on better net run rate after being tied on five points with Province 7, will clash with Group ‘A’ winners Tribhuvan Army Club on Friday.
Electing to bat first, Province 5 had a sluggish start before their lower middle order guided them to a respectable 200-9 in 50 overs. NPC also had similar chase and at one stage were 97-3 but Dipendra and Aarif proved why they have cemented their spot in the national team with flawless innings steering their team to 201-3 in 44 overs.
Amit Shrestha did the bulk of scoring in NPC’s 48-run opening wicket partnership with Sunil Dhamala who, from the other end, frustrated Province 5 bowlers with rock solid defence. Amit scored 30 off 41 with three hits to the fence before falling prey to spinner Lal Bahadur Adhikari. Sunil shared another 44 runs for the second wicket with Dilip Nath (24) but two wickets in five runs from Sandeep Sunar brought Province 5 back in the game.
Sunil scored a painstaking 36 from 82 balls with one boundary and after his departure Dipendra and Aarif kept Province 5 bowlers at bay. The two batsmen gradually built the innings with their class and technique in their professional negotiation with the target.
Man-of-the-match Dipendra scored 53-ball 58 and Aarif, who sealed victory with a six, scored 45 off 51 in their 105-run partnership. Both the batsmen struck three sixes and two boundaries each. Aarif had come into the match following a match-winning 66 against Province 3 a day earlier in Mulpani.
Diminutive opener Shankar Rana had controlled the first half of the Province 5 innings with 30-run stand for the first wicket with Sandeep (20) and 44 for the second with Shubhendu Pandey (17). The 74-1 turned 90-5 after left-arm spinner Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi took two wickets including that of Shankar and Shakti Gauchan (one).
Shankar scored 44 from 78 balls with four boundaries and a six. Saurav Khanal rebuilt the innings with a 49-run stand for the sixth wicket with Rajbir Singh (21) but the hard-hitter lost his wicket in a bid to up the ante leaving Province 5 at 164-7. Saurav scored 42 off 54 with five fours and a six. Krishna Karki (26) and Bikram Kumar Bhushal (20 not out) shared 36 runs for the eighth wicket pushing the team to 200 runs.
Rajbanshi returned with figures of 2-37 from 10 overs and Ramnaresh Giri was hit for 54 runs from his 10 overs while taking two wickets. Dipendra gave an allround performance with a miserly figures of 1-22 from 10 overs that included three maidens.
Nepal Police Club 201-3 in 44 overs (DS Airee 58 not out, A Sheikh 45 not out; S Sunar 2-35, LB Adhikari 1-38) beat Province 5 200-9 in 50 overs (S Rana 44, S Khanal 42; LN Rajbanshi 2-37, R Giri 2-54) by seven wickets
Man-of-the-match: DS Airee
Published: 07-06-2018 08:58