KATHMANDU, May 25: Spin bowlers shared eight wickets between them to propel Tribhuvan Army Club to cement a dominating win of 171 runs against Province 2 in the opening match of the Prime Minister (PM) Cup One-Day Cricket Tournament in Kirtipur on Friday.
Left arm-spinners, Sushan Bhari, most valuable player of the day Shahab Alam and Kushal Malla registered 3, 4 and a wicket respectively to help Army limit the chasing team for 107 runs in 31.4 overs after the winning team scored 278 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 50 overs.
Similarly, pace bowler Jeetendra Mukhiya picked two wickets to wrap up the commanding win on first day of Nepal’s marquee one-day event. Karan KC representing Army in the current season bowled six overs without picking up any wicket.
Opening batsman Hari Shankar Shah’s 21 runs off 28 deliveries was highest score in the innings by any player of Province 2. He smashed four boundaries before getting hold out at deep mid-on by Rajesh Pulami Magar. Similarly, Samsaad Sheikh, Sudhir Chaudhary and Rashid Khan’s 16, 15 and 14 runs respectively were other major contributions in the failed chase.
Samsaad was dismissed by Alam whereas Khan remained unbeaten. Likewise, Chaudhary accumulated 50 deliveries before getting caught by Rohit Kumar Paudel after mistiming Bhari’s delivery.
Earlier, Province 2 won the toss and invited Army to bat first. Opening batsmen Raju Rijal and skipper Binod Bhandari shared an opening partnership of 121 runs off 127 deliveries to give Army a blistering start.
Player of the match Rijal scored 90 runs off 109 deliveries before missing his century. He smashed five boundaries and two sixes during his stay at the crease.
Similarly, Bhandari registered nine well-timed deliveries during his 61-ball stay. He scored 66 runs before getting being caught by wicket-keeper Hasim Ansari off Samsaad’s delivery. Number three batsman Hari Bahadur Chauhan scored 26 runs as Army kept losing wickets in regular intervals after the commanding opening partnership. Chauhan registered two boundaries during his 44-ball stay.
However, Paudel gave the much needed boost with his 47 runs to help Army finish with the winning total of 278 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 50 overs. He smashed four boundaries and a six during his 36-ball stay. Shah of Province 2 picked up two wickets whereas Rashid, Bibek Yadav, Samsaad and Bishal Sushling shared a wicket each during the first innings.
The player of the match Rijal said that opening the batting helped him regain his lost touch in the recent times. “I think the opening batting helped me score freely. It is something I would like to continue in upcoming matches as well.”
He also credited Army coach Dipendra Chaudhary for helping him come out of his bat patch and score runs. “At times I felt I was not focused enough or my state of mind was not clear. I would like to thank coach for helping me tackle my bad form.”
Armed Police Force and Province 3 will face each other on Saturday in second Group B match of the tournament. The previously scheduled first two matches (including Saturday’s) at Mulpani Cricket Ground have been postponed after the playing conditions were deemed unfit on Thursday.