KATHMANDU, June 9: Spin duo Lalit Rajbanshi and Pawan Sarraf shared eight wickets between them propelling Nepal Police Club to a four-wicket win, to lift the title against Tribhuvan Army Club in the final of the third edition of the Prime Minister (PM) Cup One-Day Cricket Tournament held at the Tribhuvan University (TU) Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Saturday.
Batting first, Army was bundled out for 125 runs before Police completed the chase in 40.3 overs to win its second PM Cup one-day championship title.
Army had a decent start of 72 runs for the first wicket partnership after winning the toss and electing to bat first. Sompal Kami, who was promoted to open the innings, scored 35 runs off 40 deliveries which included three boundaries and two sixes. He was supported by tournament’s highest run-scorer Raju Rijal who played a patient innings of 32 runs off 60 deliveries which included five boundaries.
Player of the match Rajbanshi outfoxed Kami in his first over which opened the floodgates. Apart from 28 runs partnership between Rohit Kumar Paudel and Hari Bahadur Chauhan for the third wicket, Army lost eight wickets adding last 25 runs before getting bundled out for 125 runs in 33.3 overs.
Rajbanshi further removed Paudel, Rajesh Pulami Magar and Karan KC to end Army’s initial challenge with the bat. Most valuable player of the day Sarraf scalped four from the other end which included wickets of Chauhan, skipper Binod Bhandari, Kushal Malla and Sarki.
In reply, Sunil Dhamala played an anchor role scoring a patient 42 runs off 131 deliveries to help Police complete the chase in 40.3 overs for the loss of six wickets.
Amit Shrestha, the highest run-getter of Police in the tournament, gave the team a quick start with an innings of 44 runs off 40 deliveries which included six boundaries and two sixes.
The partnership of 52 runs between the two batsmen for the second wickets remained crucial as Police was struggling at one stage losing six wickets for 102 runs. Skipper Manjeet Shrestha scored unbeaten 11 runs sharing a winning partnership of 24 runs for the seventh wicket with Dhamala to secure the title.
This is Police’s second PM Cup title after being declared joint winners along with Army during the first edition of the one-day cricket event in 2017. Army had lost two finals in a row after suffering the same fate against Armed Police Force Club in 2017.
The highest wicket taker of the tournament with 20 wickets in six matches, Rajbanshi, won the player of the series award as well as best bowler of the tournament.
Similarly, Army’s Rijal won the best batsman award for his 261 runs in the tournament. Likewise, Sudur Paschim’s Khadak Bohora was recognized as emerging player award for his 121 runs in four innings. He opened the batting for his province on his debut stint.