KATHMANDU, May 26: Sumit Maharjan’s 94 runs eclipsed Gyanendra Malla’s 117 runs to help Armed Police Force (APF) Club win by 41 runs against Province 3 in the first Group A match of Prime Minister (PM) Cup One-Day Cricket Tournament played at Tribhuvan University Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Saturday.
Malla smashed eight boundaries and five sixes during his 111-ball stay as Province 3 ended on 247 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 50 overs chasing the total of 289 runs.
Malla’s partnership of 98 runs with Sonu Devkota for the eight wicket entertained chances of a Province 3 win after APF looked on driver seat reducing the chasing team to 145 runs for the loss of seven wickets at the 36.4 overs stage.
Kamal Singh Airee was the pick of the bowlers registering three wickets supported by Avinash Bohora’s two. Similarly, lead spinner Bhuvan Karki conceded 24 runs from his 10 overs in the match picking up the key wicket of Province 3 captain Paras Khadka.
Khadka scored 46 runs and shared a partnership of 57 runs with Malla to help rebuild the chase after a mini-collapse at the middle. The national team skipper smashed four boundaries and two sixes during his 45-ball stay.
Province 3 had a good start during the chase as Rit Gautam and Jitendra Singh Thakuri shared an opening partnership of 40 runs.
Province 3 lost three wickets for 15 runs as Gautam was dismissed for 27 runs whereas Thakuri contributed 12. Skipper Prithu Baskota picked up a wicket to help seal the win in its first match of the tournament.
Earlier, APF won the toss and elected to bat first. Maharjan shared a partnership of 98 runs with Pradeep Airee who scored 40 runs.
Player of the match Maharjan smashed five boundaries and six sixes during his 103-ball stay before getting run-out by Baskota six runs short of his first domestic century.
Similarly, Pradeep registered four boundaries and a six during his patient 63-ball stay. Likewise, skipper Baskota gave much needed boost to APF total scoring 59 runs off 58 deliveries which included three boundaries and a six.
Amar Singh Routel remained not out on 26 runs off 18 deliveries which included two boundaries and sixes each.
Nandan Yadav was pick of the APF bowlers registering three wickets during his 10-over spell. Yadav extracted bounce from the surface. He was aided by Thakuri’s three-wicket-haul whereas Khadka and Surya Tamang shared a wicket each in the match.
Province 1 will face Tribhuvan Army Club in a Group B encounter at Kirtipur on Sunday whereas Karnali is scheduled to face Nepal Police Club in a match at Mulpani.