BIRATNAGAR, Dec 29: Central Region secured semifinal berth in men's cricket event under the ongoing Seventh National Games. Central Region on Wednesday defeated Nepal Police Club, which had already secured semifinal berth as Group B winner, by 9 runs in its must-win match held in Baijanathpur Cricket Ground in Morang.
Winning the toss, Central Region put up 120 runs losing all wickets in 20 overs and bowled out Nepal Police Club for 111 runs with two balls to spare. Prakash Bista topscored 25 runs off 21 balls while Harishankar Shah scored 22 runs off 16 balls. Hasim Ansari contributed 14 runs off 15 balls. Lalit Bhandari claimed three wickets for Nepal Police while Kushal Bhurtel and Manjeet Shrestha claimed two each.
Sunil Dhamala's 44 runs off 45 balls for Police and Yogendra Karki's 20 runs off 23 balls went in vain as the departmental team remained 9 runs short for the total. Five batsmen of Police were run out and it proved to be costly.
Despite the loss, the Nepal Police topped the Group B and it will face Tribhuvan Army Club in the semifinal. Likewise, Central Region will face Group A leader Armed Police Force in the semifinal.
Armed Police Force defeated Tribhuvan Army Club by 28 runs on Wednesday to top the group.
Winning the toss, APF elected to bat first and put up a total of 165/4 in 20 overs. Later, APF restricted Army Club to 137 runs in 17.5 overs. Pradeep Airee scored 47 runs off 47 balls and Mohammad Aasif Seikh scored 39 runs off 34 balls for APF. However, Karan KC, who blasted 36 runs off 25 balls with four boundaries and two sixes, became match winner. Avinash Karna claimed four wickets for Army Club.
Chasing the good total, Army Club batsmen failed to take forward momentum set by Sagar Pun and Naresh Budhayer for the second wicket. Opener Pun scored 46 runs off 27 balls and Budhayer garnered 46 runs off 37 balls. Both Pun and Budhayer scored 2 sixes each. Binod Bhandari, who scored 16 runs, was the only batsman to score in double digits among the remaining batsmen. Bhuwan Karki picked three wickets while Karan KC and Basanta Regmi claimed two wickets each.