Sports

APF stun Armymen to claim title

  • PM Cup One-Day Cricket
- ADARSHA DHAKAL, Kathmandu

Jun 12, 2018-Anil Sah proved himself as a man of big occasion as the rising youngster struck a half century in the final to hand Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club the title of the Prime Minister Cup One-Day National cricket tournament on Monday.

In the final match watched by a vibrant crowd at the TU Stadium, APF stunned title favourites Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) by six wickets giving a clinical performance with both the bat and ball. Following a disciplined bowling performance, APF

bundled out the Armymen for a below-par 209 in 50 overs. APF lost their opener Subash Khakurel to injury but Anil and Pradeep Airee shared a match-winning century partnership leading APF to 210 in 41.2 overs.

The victory was the best way of revenge for APF who had gone through a 70-run humiliation from TAC in the league stage. Along with the title, APF collected a cash purse of Rs 2 million and runners-up Army got Rs 1 million. The tournament is so far the highest cash-prized 50-over event of the country.

“The guys played really well. To see them performing with this energy is a big asset for Nepali cricket. These guys have experience of playing for the national team at different time frame. They have the hunger to do well and it’s a very good sign for every one of us,” said APF skipper and national team veteran left arm spinner Basanta Regmi.

Subash and Anil opened the innings cautiously before an injury forced the former off the field when he was on 12 and the team’s total score was 19 runs. Anil and Pradeep then chased the target with a well-constructed partnership of 119 runs.

Pradeep, often known for his big hitting, played uncharacteristically in his 99-ball 63 that included two sixes and as many boundaries. Anil also made 63 but took 72 balls while hitting four boundaries and three sixes. Both batsmen lost their wickets in a space of 11 runs but their middle order negotiated with the target with an ease.

“I am very happy because this was the big opportunity for us. We needed to prove the level that we are in and the entire team did it. I was in a need of a good innings and it came today. I wanted to take my innings till the end but unfortunately that didn’t happen,” said Sah.  

After the departure of two set batsmen, Prithu Baskota and Rohit Kumar Paudel (15) added 29 runs for the fourth wicket and despite losing the two batsmen, the match was already within APF grasp. Prithu, in his comeback trail, made a fluent 32 from 24 balls with six hits to the fence. Sompal Kami took three wickets for the Armymen.

TAC struggled in the start failing to score freely before they were reduced to 56-4 in 22.3 overs. Youngster Bhim Sharki once again got involved in a decent 68-run partnership with Rajesh Pulami Magar (27) as TAC recovered from the early wobbles. Bhim made 45 from 48 balls with two fours and two sixes before he was bowled by Basanta Regmi.

Rajesh was next to go as TAC were once again thrown into a precarious position of 130-6 in 40.1 overs. Skipper Binod Bhandari and Sompal pushed the team beyond 200-run mark with a 67-run seventh wicket stand. Sompal made 36 off 33 with two sixes and a boundary, while Bhandari chipped in 35 off 25 with four boundaries and one maximum.

Karan KC took 3-38 from 10 overs, while Basanta and Bhuwan had two scalps apiece. Bhandari, whose team played like champions from the beginning of the tournament, was left dejected with their only defeat. “We didn’t get the start that we had wanted. Back to back wickets took away the momentum for us. The track was easy to bat on but I don’t know how things didn’t go our way. The partnership between Anil and Pradeep was the defining moment,” said Bhandari.

Summary

Nepal Armed Police Force Club 210-4 in 41.2 overs (AK Sah 63, P Airee 63; S Kami 3-67, B Sob 1-30) beat Tribhuvan Army Club 209 all out in 50 overs (B Sharki 45, S Kami 36; K KC 3-38, B Karki 2-24) by six wickets

Man-of-the-final: AK Sah

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Winners (APF)    Rs 2 million

Runners-up (TAC)    Rs 1 million

Player of the series    Sagar Pun (TAC)

Best Batsman    Pradeep Airee (APF)

Best Bowler    Sushan Bhari (TAC)

Emerging Player    Hari Chauhan      (Province 4)

Published: 12-06-2018 09:14

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