Nepal Police Club (NPC) grinded out a battling 12-run win over Region-III (Kathmandu) while the match between Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club and Region-I (Biratnagar) ended in no-result in the Pepsi Standard Chartered National One-day Cricket Tournament today.
Electing to bat first at the Tribhuvan University Stadium, NPC were all out for 207 runs in 47.5 overs and restricted Kathmandu to 195 runs in 48.4 overs. NPC had Sunny Pun (50), opener Mahesh Chhetri (42) and Pushpa Thapa (34) to thank for their total. Openers Mahesh and Binod Bhandari (13) made a slow start putting on 24 runs before the later was caught by Suman Shrestha off Rupesh Shrivastav in the last ball of the eighth over.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mahesh then added 46 for the second wicket with Sunny Pun to steady the ship. When Sudip Sharma had Mahesh caught by Pawan Shrestha in the 17.2 overs, NPC were comfortably placed at 70-2. Mahesh struck four boundaries and a six in his 57-ball innings.
After the dismissal of Mahesh, Sunny further consolidated the NPC innings putting on 53 runs for the third wicket with Naresh Budhayer (18) to carry the total to 123-3. Both Naresh and Sunny were caught and bowled by Rajesh Pulami in the space of 13 balls. Sunny hit three fours and a six in his 66-ball knock.
Puspha Thapa helped push the NPC total over 200-mark with his fluent strokeplay. Pushpa hit five fours in his run-a-ball 34. Manjeet Shrestha also contributed a valuable 15 runs. Rajesh Pulami was the pick of the Kathmandu bowlers with 3-32 from five overs. Pramod Basnet (2-28) and Rupesh Shrivastav (2-26) claimed two wickets apiece while Sudip Sharma (1-44) and Rikesh Lama (1-31) bagged one each.
Chasing 208, Kathmandu fell agonisingly short of their target, their innings folding with eight balls to spare. Kathmandu openers Suman Uday (23) and
Suman Shrestha (27) made a composed start to their run chase putting on 43 runs for the first wicket. Suman Shrestha was stumped by Mahesh off Rahul Kumar BK to make it 43-1. Kathmandu lost three more wickets in regular succession to be 68-4 in 21st over.
Rupesh Shrivastav (22), Rikesh Lama (36) and Pramod Basnet (27) reignited the Kathmandu hopes in the middle overs but the tailenders failed to seize the opportunity. Man-of-the-match Pushpa (2-24), skipper Binod Das (2-38) and Chandra Saud (2-26) grabbed two wickets each while Manjeet (1-34), Bhuwan Karki (1-15) and Rahul (1-33) took one apiece for NPC.
The match between APF and Biratnagar at the Pulchowk Engineering College grounds was abandoned due to rain. Biratnagar were reeling at 16-2 after 3.2 overs in the 22-over a-side match when rain forced the match to be abandoned. The no-result meant the teams shared one point each in Group ‘B’.