KATHMANDU, June 2: A spirited bowling performance helped Nepal Police Club win the match against Tribhuvan Army Club by 50 runs to secure its third win during the Group B match of Prime Minister Cup One-Day Cricket Tournament played at Tribhuvan University Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Saturday. Army was dismissed for 111 runs chasing the target of 162 runs.
At 4-64 during the Army chase, the match hanged on balance as left-arm spinner Lalit Rajbanshi dismissed Rohit Kumar Paudel and Karan KC to put Police Club in the driver seat. Paudel batting on 16 runs had faced 37 deliveries before losing its stumps to Rajbanshi delivery. Similarly, KC was trapped LBW on a run.
Player of the match Aarif Sheikh and Dipendra Singh Airee had provided a good start to the defense as both shared two wickets each in respective economic spells. Likewise, Sagar Dhakal and Pawan Sarraf shared a wicket each as Army was folded out in 42.3 overs.
Hari Bahadur Chauhan top scored for Army with 34 runs off 97 deliveries which included two boundaries. Likewise, opening batsman Raju Rijal looked in good touch scoring 16 runs off 27 deliveries before getting out to Airee.
Earlier, Army had won the toss and invited Police Club to bat first. Skipper Manjeet Shrestha top scored for the Police team staying unbeaten on 36 runs off 62 deliveries coming in to bat at number nine position. Likewise, Sheikh scored crucial 34 runs off 54 deliveries which included two boundaries.
Airee looked in good form for his 29 runs before losing his stumps to Shahab Alam who registered four wickets in the match. KC chipped with two wickets whereas Jeetendra Mukhiya, Susan Bhari and Kushal Malla shared a wicket each to help limit Police for 161 runs in 48.4 overs.
Army has completed its four gourp matches with three wins and a loss. Army has six points and sits on top of the points table. Similarly, Police Club’s third win on the trot has helped them stay at second position on the table. The match between Police Club and Province 2 will be crucial to decide the second semifinalist as Army, in both cases, with a superior net run-rate than both the teams will be advancing to the next round.
The Province 2 has kept its semifinal hopes alive with an astounding win of 161 runs against Province 1 in a Group B match played at Mulpani Cricket Ground on same day.
Province 2 with four points and 0.88 net run-rate after the completion of three matches is on third position behind Police Club which has six points and net run-rate of 1.47. The Province 2 versus Police Club will face on Sunday to decide the second semifinalist as Army has already secured its place after six points with a superior net run-rate of 1.75.
Kumar Thapa registered a record seven-wicket-haul as Province 1 was bundled out for 104 runs in 28.5 overs to help Province 2 win by 161 runs and secure its second win in three matches. Thapa conceded 22 runs during eight-over spell. He kept three maiden overs. It is a record best bowling figures in history of PM Cup’s three editions. Similarly, pace bowler Divyanshu Mallick supported the spinner with two wickets. Sunny Pun and Meenash Thapa were two double-digit scorers of the innings scoring 29 and 26 runs respectively.
Earlier, Province 2 won the toss and elected to bat first as Suraj Patel led the batting charge with his unbeaten 78 runs off 70 deliveries which included six boundaries and three sixes. He was supported by Rashid Khan’s 47 runs off 31 deliveries which included two boundaries and five sixes.
Similarly, Haseem Ansari, Ravi Sah and Bishal Sushling chipped with 20 runs each whereas skipper Mehboob Alam scored 19 runs. The player of the match of last match, Hari Shankar Shah scored 31 runs opening the batting off 65 deliveries which included three boundaries. Province2 scored 265 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 50 overs. Province 1 skipper Puspa Thapa picked up three wickets supported by Saroj Basnet’s two wickets. Similarly, Mukund Yadav, Firdose Ansari and Kamal Khatri shared a wicket each.
Province 2 will face Nepal Police Club on Sunday at Kirtipur whereas Armed Police Force Club and Province 5 will clash at Mulpani on same day.