Army secure third win, Police bounce back after opening match lossArmy sit on top of Group 'A' standings with four points while Police thump Sudurpaschim to pull first victory.
Tribhuvan Army Club recorded their third win in a row to inch closer to semi-finals while Nepal Police Club bounced back from their opening match defeat in the Prime Minister Cup National one-day cricket tournament in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
Army, who had overcome Gandaki and Karnali in their previous matches, saw off Province 1 by four wickets to climb on top of Group 'A' with six points after third match at the Mulpani grounds. Province 1 are at the bottom of the table without any points after three matches. Province 1 elected to bat first and were bowled out for 131 runs in 40.1 overs. In reply, Army made 135-6 in 29.5 overs for the loss of six wickets.
Police, who have lost their first match against Bagmati Province by seven wickets, registered a resounding nine-wicket win over Sudurpaschim Province to open their account after second match at the TU grounds in Kirtipur. Police are third in Group 'B' standings with two points from as many matches while Sudurpaschim hit the bottom of the table and are pointless after two matches.
Put into bat first, Sudurpaschim were bowled out for 110 runs in 33.1 overs. Opener Khadak Bohara scored the highest 40 off 53 for Sudurpaschim before he was trapped leg before by Sagar Dhakal. He hit eight boundaries in his 53-ball knock.
Wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Damai contributed 35 runs facing 58 deliveries with 91-3 on board. He hit five boundaries. But Sudurpaschim lost the remaining seven wickets for just 19 runs. Arun Airee (13 runs) and Arjun Saud (10 runs) were the other batsmen to touch double digits.
Police bowlers Sagar Dhakal and Dipendra Singh Airee grabbed four wickets apiece. The man-of-the-match Dhakal gave away 18 runs in his 10-over bowling with three maiden overs. Airee conceded 10 runs in his 6.1 over bowling with two maiden overs.
In the run chase, Police openers Sunil Dhamala and Kushal Bhurtel hit half centuries each as they made light work of the provincial team. The duo shared a 97-run partnership before Dhamala was caught by Airee off Hemant Dhami. He hit six boundaries and two sixes in his 57-ball knock. Bhurtel contributed an unbeaten 51 runs facing 44 deliveries. He hit nine fences and a six.
At the Mulpani grounds, Bibek Meheta scored 50 runs for Province 1. He shared a 77-run fourth wicket partnership with Firdosh Ansari before being caught and bowled by Shahab Alam. He hit seven boundaries and a six. Ansari contributed 32 off 90 while opener Deepak Paswan (19 runs) and Dipesh Kandel (11 runs) were the other players to touch double digit figures.
Alam was the peak of Army bowling claiming four wickets. The man of the match gave away 23 runs in his 9.1 over bowling with three maiden overs. Aakash Chand claimed three wickets.
In the run chase, Army too made a shaky start and were tottering at 41-4. But Rohit Paudel and Bhim Sarki lifted the innings playing a 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Paudel scored the highest 36 runs for Army while Sarki contributed 29 runs. Rajesh Pulami remained unbeaten at 24 runs.
Province 1 bowlers Firdosh Ansari, Gyanendra Shrestha, Dipesh Kandel and Shuvankar Urao claimed one wicket each.
Lumbini will take on Police on Thursday at the Kirtipur grounds while Nepal APF Club will vie with Gandaki at the Mulpani grounds.