Bhandari's ton gives Army flying start in PM Cup openerThe departmental team captain struck 111 runs as they beat Gandaki Province by 98 runs in the opening match.
An unbeaten century from skipper Binod Bhandari gave Tribhuvan Army Club a flying start to their Prime Minister Cup national one-day cricket tournament campaign as they registered a 98-run victory over Gandaki Province in the curtain raiser at the TU cricket grounds in Kirtipur on Friday.
National player Bhandari, who came to bat at number 4, smashed an unbeaten 111 runs as Army made 287-6 in the allotted 50 overs before restricting Gandaki at 189 with two overs to spare. Bhandari struck nine fences and five sixes in his 76-ball innings.
Electing to bat first, the departmental team openers Hari Krishna Jha and Raju Rijal put on a 63-run partnership for the first wicket before the former was dismissed for 14 runs. Rijal, the next wicket to fall, scored 45 runs off 71 balls. He was trapped leg before by Bipin Khatri.
Rohit Paudel and Bhim Sharki were sent back to pavilion for 10 and 15 runs respectively as Army were 111-4. But skipper Bhandari and Rajesh Pulami played a 73-run partnership for the fifth wicket to lift their innings. Pulami contributed 38 off 52 before he was caught by Sameer Kandel off Deepesh Khatri.
The man-of-the-match Bhandari, who reached 100 runs off 73 balls, then played a 103-run stand for the fourth wicket with Lokesh Bam, caught by wicketkeeper Deepak Dumre in the last ball of the innings. The duo collected 103 runs from just 60 deliveries. Bam scored 42 runs from 30 balls.
Gandaki's Bipin Khatri and Bishal Paudel grabbed two wickets apiece while Deepesh Khatri and Chandra Paudel shared one wicket each.
Gandaki’s run chase suffered an early setback as opener Deepesh Khatri was trapped leg before by Aakash Chand for one run. But his opening partner Arjun Kumal, who contributed 36 runs from 54 deliveries, and Sameer Kandel played a 52-run stand for the next wicket. Kumal was caught by Jeetendra Mukhiya off Rohit Paudel.
Kandel, Gandaki's highest scorer with 50 runs off 90 balls, was caught by Paudel off Sarki in 36th over with 136-4 at board. He hit five fences in his patient knock. Skipper Bipin Khatri remained not out on 37 runs while Bishnu Pandey contributed 12 runs for Gandaki. The provincial team lost other batsmen cheaply.
Army's Rajesh Pulami was the most successful bowler claiming five wickets. He gave away 25 runs in his nine-over spell with two maiden overs. Sarki grabbed three wickets in his seven-over bowling. He conceded 26 runs.
Nepal APF Club will vie against Province 1 in the group match at the same venue on Saturday. The tournament organised by Cricket Association of Nepal is played under the league cum knockout format. The event features 10 teams including seven provincial and three departmental teams. The participating teams are divided into two groups. The top two finishers of each group after league stage will make to the semi-finals.