Kathmandu – As expected, Nepal Army (NA) Club and Armed Police Force (APF) Club set to play at the final of National T20 Cricket Tournament, in TU Cricket Stadium, Kirtipur. APF were defending champion and NA is debutant of this tournament, but many people anticipated the same state given the team’s strength with number of national players in both teams.
APF has been showing supremacy in the national level cricket tournaments since its formation by recruiting top national players. Once, APF missed to lift the trophy of same tournament by losing the final against Nepal Police Club (NPC). However, NPC did not continued the cricket team and all the players were release from contract except Binod Das, Manjeet Shrestha and Manoj Katuwal, who has been serving as permanent staff. However, many of the NPC members currently representing the NA club and APF may face tough task recalling the history, when they meet in the final.
AFP’s journey to the final was mixture of more easy along with few tough matches. APF did sweat hard particularly against Nepalgunj, when APF was bundled out for only 92 runs. Bowler Aakash Bista and Amar Routela was hero of that match as both took four wickets each. Nevertheless, APF had enough bowling strength to defend the total. Yet, experience of Mahesh Chhetri and Anupam Singh could upset the mighty APF, which did not happen, as the match was washed-out by rain. At other match, Birgunj showed some fight against APF and lost the match by 76 runs. Pokhara, Janakpur and Biratnagar could not stay against the quality batting, bowling and fielding of compact APF team and they surrendered the matches by 92, 137 and 86 runs respectively.
Likewise, Debutant Nepal Army (NA) club also had mixed experience in league stage but they easily surpassed the hurdle of semi final, as rain faded the match and NA reached final via net run rate calculation. NA got +1.604 NRR and other semi finalist Kathmandu finished with -0.185 in league round matches, so the performance at league round help them to reach the final. At beginning, NA struggled on batting as their top order fail to perform consistently. However, they settled down themselves in following matches and improved the batting, especially top order started to perform well.
For APF, top scorer of this tournament Gyanendra, captain Paras and batsman Sharad Vesawkar will be key in batting department. Left arm spin trio Shakti Gauchan, Basanta Regmi and Bhuwan Karki could be threat for NA team.
Similarly, batsmen Anil Mandal and Naresh Budhayer were performing solidly for NA. However, skipper Binod Bhandari is yet to show his talent in this short format cricket. Rahul BK, Rupesh Shrivastav and Chandra Sawad were looking solid in bowling department.
Since both teams have enough talent and experience to show grand battle in the final whereas APF will have upper hand given their fixed playing set up. NA yet to have that advantage as the club formed just less than a month ago.
The match between Nepal Army (NA) Club and Armed Police Force (APF) club to be held on October 4 at 10:00 AM in TU Ground, Kirtipur.
Just Nepali Cricket