KATHMANDU, June 7: The two departmental sides, Nepal Police Club (NPC) and Tribhuvan Army Club, are battling for the trophy of the 1st Prime Minister Cup One Day Cricket Tournament on Thursday at TU Cricket Ground.
Studded with national players, the two sides are meeting for the first time in the summit clash of a one day tournament. However they have met twice in T20 tournaments with both encounters coming in Ruslan Cup Twenty20 Cricket Tournament. NPC had overcome its archrival on both occasions.
Meanwhile, it will be also the second meeting between two departmental teams in this competition as both had faced each other in the group B match where Army had defeated NPC by eight wickets.
NPC which booked its place in the semifinals as group B runner-up accumulated four points from three matches. NPC overcame Armed Police Force (APF) by 34 wickets in the semifinal to secure its place in the summit clash.
Similarly, Army pitted in the same group as NPC had booked its place in the last four as group winner. It defeated Western Region by four wickets in the semifinal in order to reserve its place in the final.
Meanwhile, in the pre-match conference held on Wednesday, skippers of both teams said they are prepared for the summit clash. “We haven't made any specific plan for the final match. We will play in the way we have been playing throughout the tournament. But we will have to be the best team on the ground as one who plays well on that particular day, will become the champion,” said NPC's skipper Manjeet Shrestha.
“Army is a very balanced team with talented national players. So, it won't be easy. Our aim will be to compel them to make mistakes throughout the match and try to capitalize on those mistakes,” added Shrestha.
He also said that having a good number of all-rounders in the team is the strength of the team. “Though our team is studded with young faces, having a good number of all-round players is our major strength,” concluded Shrestha.
However Army's skipper Binod Shrestha said his team has not a good number of all-round players but have a good number of pure bowlers and batsmen which he said, was the strength of the team. “We have few all-round players but we have six pure bowlers and batsmen which I think is the major strength for us,” said Army skipper Bhandari.
He also said that the match against the other departmental team is always a subject of pressure. “We always feel pressure in the match against our departmental rival as we have to win it at any cost,” added Bhandari.
He also said the final match of a one day final is different from a T20 final. “This final will be different from the one we lost to them in the T20 format. We will have to play differently,” added Bhandari.
The champion of the tournament will take Rs 2 million home - the biggest cash prize in Nepali domestic cricket so far - while the runner-up will be rewarded with Rs 1 million.
Likewise, the best player of the tournament will earn Rs 100,000 whereas the best batsman and the best bowler will get Rs 50,000 each.