KATHMANDU, April 24: Armed Police Force Club (APF) secured its first gold medal of the Eighth National Games in cricket after women’s cricket team defeated Province 1 by 87 runs in the final match played at Lamahi Cricket Ground in Dang on Tuesday.
APF posted a total of 128 runs in 20 overs losing all its wickets after being asked to bat first by Province 1, who won the toss. Jyoti Pandey and Sita Rana Magar contributed 45 and 41 runs respectively to propel APF to the match-winning total. National cricket team and Province 1 skipper Rubina Chhetri, Sangita Rai and Shabnam Rai shared three wickets each.
Player of the match Rana Magar, who contributed significantly with the bat, picked up two wickets in a dominant APF bowling performance to bundle out Province 1 for 41 runs in 19.4 overs. Rashmi Sharma Chaulagai scored 27 runs for Province 1 as none of the other players was able to reach double-digits. Sarita Magar and Ritu Kanojiya also picked up two wickets each to help APF secure its gold medal in women’s national cricket. Province 1 settled with the silver medal.
Similarly, in the battle for bronze, Sudur Paschim defeated Province 2 by six wickets to win the accolade in a match played for the third position at the same venue on the same day. Sudur Paschim won the toss and invited Province 2 to bat first in a shortened match of 7 overs per side. The losing team scored 57 runs for the loss of four wickets, led by Saraswati Chaudahry who top-scored with 25 runs. Kabita Joshi picked up two wickets for Sudur Paschim. Kabita Kunwar led the chase for the winning team scoring 23 runs, supported by Kabita Joshi’s 16. Anuradha Chaudhary picked up two wickets in the innings.
In the men’s cricket category, departmental team Armed Police Force Club (APF) reached the final after defeating Province 1 in the semifinal match held at Kohalpur Cricket Ground in Banke on Tuesday. Player of the match Sharad Vesawkar led from the front picking up four wickets in his four overs to bundle out Province 1 for 49 runs in 16.3 overs. Basant Regmi registered three wickets, supported by a wicket each from Avinash Bohora and Bhuvan Karki.
Meenash Thapa and Sunny Pun scored 14 runs each as none of the other Province 1 batsmen was able to reach double digits in the match. Four batsmen were dismissed for ducks. Shankar Rana and Pradeep Airee scored unbeaten 23 and 17 runs respectively to complete the 50-run chase in 10.5 overs for the loss of two wickets.
In the second semifinal of the day, Nepal Police Club (NPC) held its nerve to secure a three-run win against Tribhuvan Army Club to advance to the final of men’s cricket in the Eighth National Games played at Kohalpur Cricket Ground in Banke on Tuesday. NPC has confirmed its final match with APF on Wednesday.
Police bowler Sagar Dhakal was adjudged player of the match for picking up four wickets on his way to limit Army to 77 runs for the loss of all its wickets in 18 overs. Naveen Singh Thapa and Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi shared three wickets each to help Army defend a lowly total of 80 runs. Kushal Malla of Army top-scored with 22 runs.
Earlier, NPC won the toss and elected to bat first. Amit Shrestha, batting at number 5, scored 23 runs to help Police post a paltry total of 80 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 20 overs. Shahab Alam was pick of the bowlers for Army as he picked up three wickets in the match. He was supported by Sompal Kami and Sushan Bhari’s two wickets each. Hari Bahadur Chauhan and Kushal Malla picked up a wicket each.
APF will face NPC for gold medal on Wednesday whereas Army will face Province 1 for bronze in the first match of the day.