KATHMANDU, Jan 17: Departmental teams Nepal Police Club and Tribhuvan Army Club have set the summit clash of the Second Ruslan Cup T20 cricket tournament after they registered impressive wins in the semifinal matches played on Monday at the TU grounds, Kirtipur.
Police registered a comfortable seven-wicket win over New Horizon Club of Butwal while half centuries from Sagar Pun and Rajesh Pulami guiden Army to a 70-run victory over Sudur Paschim Academy (SPA).
In the first semifinal, put to bat first New Horizon was bowled out for a paltry total of 82 runs at the close. In reply, Police made 88 runs in 17.4 overs for the loss of three wickets.
Earlier, Police bowler Dipendra Airee picked three wickets to dismiss New Horizon for the low total. Dipendra, who was also declared the man-of-the-match, gave away 15 runs in his four overs spell. Lalit Bhandari, Ram Naresh Giri, Kushal Bhurtel, Sunil Dhamala and Manjeet Shrestha were the other bowlers of Police to share one wicket each.
Opener Shankar Rana (16 runs) trapped leg before by Sunil and Krishna Karki (not out 25) were the only batsmen to reach double digit figure for New Horizon, which collected 15 runs as extras.
In the run chase, Police opener Sunil contributed highest 36 runs off 39 balls. He played 35 runs stand for the first wicket with Dilip Nath (10 runs) before the latter was caught by Krishna Karki. Yogendra Karki and Aarif Sheikh were unbeaten on 20 and 17 runs respectively.
New Horizon bowler Sushan Bhari claimed two wickets while Bikram Bhusal picked one wicket.
In another match, opener Sagar Pun cracked 75 runs off 52 balls for Army in its mammoth total of 187/6. Besides Sagar, Rajesh Pulami quickfired 55 runs off 25 balls.
Rajesh hit five sixes and four fences before he reached 50-run mark off 20 balls. Sagar, who was later declared the man-of-the-match, smashed eight fences and one six and reached 50-run mark facing 40 balls.
Opener Anil Kumar Mandal contributed 30 runs facing 25 deliveries and Raju Rijal scored 12 runs from 13 balls.
In the run chase, SPA managed 117/7 at close. Only three top-order batsmen came up with remarkable contributions in the run chase. Opener Bijay Rana contributed 38 runs off 54 balls and Roman Bam scored 25 runs from as many balls before being sent back to the pavilion. Sandeep Damai (17 runs 16 balls) and Mahesh Adhikari (not out 11 runs off 6 balls) were the other batsmen to add double digit figures.
Army's Avinash Karn was the pick of the bowlers claiming three wickets in his four-over spell. He conceded 26 runs. Sagar and Jitendra Mukhiya shared two wickets apiece.
The final of the tournament will be played on Tuesday.