KATHMANDU, June 6: The summit clash of the 1st Prime Minister Cup One Day National Cricket Tournament is set to be all departmental affairs after Tribhuvan Army Club became the latest side to book its place in the final.
Army registered a four-wicket win over the Western Region on Tuesday to set the final clash date with departmental rival Nepal Police Club (NPC) which had overcome Armed Police Force (APF) on Monday. The summit clash of the tournament will be played on Thursday at the TU Cricket Ground.
Asked to bat first after losing the toss, the Western Region made a total of 235 runs losing nine wickets before Army raced to 241-6 in 48.2 overs.
West made a disastrous start to its innings losing its openers cheaply as Bidhan Shrestha was dismissed for a duck while Anil Gurung made just one run facing 10 balls.
Nurdhoj Sen who came to bat at number three tried to lay the foundation scoring 26 runs off 35 balls that included four boundaries. However losing other middle order batsmen Antim Thapa (7), Rohit Kumar Paudel (6) and Lal Adhikari (2) back to back didn't help West.
Saurav Khanal made the highest 82 runs hitting eight sixes and two boundaries facing 86 balls to lift West's innings. He also built up a decent 145-run partnership with Krishna Karki which was important to help West make a respectable total. Krishna contributed 75 runs off 89 balls that included six sixes and two boundaries.
Army's four bowlers - Sompal Kami, Jitendra Mukhiya, Sagar Pun, Shahab Alam-- claimed two wickets each while Sushan Bhari added another.
Meanwhile Army couldn't make a solid start to the innings with openers Mahesh Chhetri and Anil Kumar Mandal building up a partnership of only 16 runs for the first wicket. Mahesh was dismissed for three runs while Anil made 48 runs.
However Sagar Pun joining Anil to form a 208-run partnership for the second wicket lifted Army's innings. Sagar scored the highest 65 runs hitting two boundaries and six sixes facing 79 balls. Player-of-the-match Rajesh Pulami Magar struck impressive 55runs off 53 balls that included three sixes and two boundaries. He also built up a 34-run partnership with skipper Binod Bhandari for the fourth wicket. Skipper Bhandari scored 17 off 25 balls while Raju Rijal contributed 26 runs facing 19 balls that included five boundaries.
West's Dhiraj Shahi pocketed two wickets while Bipin Khatri, Krishna Karki and Rohit Kumar Paudel claimed one wicket each.