Kathmandu – Region No. 2 (Birgunj) defeated the departmental Armed Police Force (APF) by 3 wickets to win their maiden title of Pepsi Standard-Chartered National one day Tournament at Tribhuvan University Cricket ground today.
Winning the toss, Birgunj invited APF to bat first. Half century from Akash Gupta 69 (45) and Bishal Babu Adhikari’s 25*(57) helped APF to score 213 before they were bowled out in 46.1 overs.
Kumar Thapa and Ram Naresh Giri took 4 and 3 wickets respectively for Region 2.
In Reply, Birgunj had a disastrous start as they were 31-4 at one stage but the solid 147 run partnership between Amit Shrestha and Aarif Sheikh took the match away from APF. Amit Shrestha smashed 88 runs while Aarif Sheikh scored 70(89).
Robin Gurung smashed a winning boundary to secure maiden title of being National Champion in 48.5 overs. Bhuwan Karki was the pick of the bowler taking three wickets while Ritesh Singh and Sanjam Regmi shared two wickets each.
With the win, Birgunj received a cash prize of Rs. 1,50,000 and Winner’s Trophy while runner up APF got Rs. 1,00,000 and trophy.
For his outstanding knock of 88 runs, Amit Shrestha (Region 2) got Man of Final Match Trophy while, Aarif Sheikh (Region 2) received Man of the Series Award. Similarly, Lalit Singh Bhandari got Emerging Player of the tournament award, Raj Kumar Pradhan(Region 1) was adjudged Bowler of the series and Puspa Thapa became the best Batsman of the series.
Best Bowler of the Series- Raj Kumar Pradhan
Raj Kumar Pradhan (Region 1 – Biratnagar) took 16 wickets in his 5 innings with an average of 6.25 and 2.58 runs per over economy. He gave away 100 runs in 28.5 overs with 7 maidens. His best bowling was 6-10.
Best Batsman – Puspa Thapa
Puspa Thapa (Region 1 – Biratnagar) was the best batsman of the tournament. In 5 innings, he scored 211 runs with an average of 42.20 and a strike rate of 87.55. His highest score was 93 runs.
Player of the Tournament – Aarif Sheikh
Aarif Sheikh (Region 2- Birgunj) was adjudged as Player of the Tournament as he was outstanding performer and played allround cricket during the tournament. With his bat, he scored 261 runs with an average of 52.20 and strike rate of 69.97. His highest score was 70 runs. Similarly, with his bowling, he took 11 wickets with an average of 15.36 and a economy of 3.47. His best bowling was 3-34.
Emerging Player of the Tournament – Lalit Singh Bhandari
Lalit Singh Bhandari (Region 3 – Dhangadi) picked Emerging player award as he took 15 wickets with an average of 10.87.