KATHMANDU, Jan 12: Departmental giant Armed Police Force (APF), studded with national players, faced a shock first round exit from the Second Ruslan Cup 2073 T20 cricket tournament on Thursday.
Star-studded APF, which includes national team captain Paras Khadka as well as Gyanendra Malla, Basant Regmi, Sandeep Lamichhance, Prithu Baskota among others faced five-wicket defeat at the hands of Nepali Rhinos inspired its captain Sharad Vesawkar, who is also a influential national player.
Put to bat first after losing the toss, APF posted a moderate total of 123/8 at close. Rhinos surpassed the target for the loss of five wickets with four balls to spare to reach the quarterfinals.
APF openers Subash Khakurel and Aasif Sheikh contributed equal 18 runs each facing 24 and 19 balls respectively before they were sent back to the pavilion. Lower middle order batsman -- skipper Paras and Bhuwan Karki tried to consolidate the APF innings. Paras who came in as the seventh batsman scored 18 runs off 12 balls before he was caught by Saurav Pela off Sharad. Bhuwan made highest contribution of 33 runs from 16 deliveries before he was run out by Sushil Kandel.
Other big names including Pradeep Airee (1 run), Gyanendra Malla (7 runs), Basnat Regmi (3 runs) and Prithu Baskota (7 runs) failed to live up to the expectation.
Rhinos skipper Sharad pocketed two wickets while Sushil, Pawan Sarraf, Rajin Dhakal and Rupesh Shrivastav had their share in one wicket each.
In reply, Rhinos had a shaky start to their run chase losing first three wickets for 29 runs. Sonu Tamang and Sharad Veswakar played crucial role in the run chase with an unbeaten 46 runs stand. Sonu cracked 33 runs off 14 deliveries that included four fours and two sixes. Sharad played a patient knock of 20 runs off 25 balls.
Jitendra Thakuri and opener Sanjay Shrestha were the other batsmen to make remarkable contributions for Rhinos. Jitendra scored 32 runs from 31 deliveries and opener Sanjay scored 26 runs from 16 balls.
APF bowler Basnat claimed two wickets while Bhuban Karki and Paras Khadka pocketed one wicket each.
Meanwhile, Mehboob Alam came up with all round performance for Himalayan White House College as it registered a thumping 107 runs win over PC Fighter to book quarterfinal spot. Former national player Mehboob Alam struck 51 runs from 45 balls and claimed three wickets.
Put to bat first after losing the toss, Himalayan White House posted a huge total of 169/9 at close and bowled out PC Fighter for 62 runs in 16 overs.
Mehboob hit five fours and four sixes in his knock off 45 balls. Opener Subendu Pandey (38 runs off 28 balls), Pranit Thapa Magar (32 runs off 18 balls) and Amar Singh Rautela (25 runs off 19 balls) were the other batsmen to come up with remarkable contribution for Himalayan White House.
Chandra Dev Joshi of PC Fighter claimed three wickets while Arun Chand and Dipen Thapa pocketed two wickets each.
In the run chase, only two batsmen including opener Naresh Chand (22 runs) and Arun Chand (12 runs) managed double digit figure for PC Fighter.
Besides Mehboob's three-wicket haul, Sandeep Dhungana and Hasim Ansari claimed two wickets for Himalayan White House.