All-rounder Karki stars as APF enter finalAPF edge defending champions and fierce rivals Nepal Police Club in Prime Minister Cup semi-finals by 30 runs.
An all-round performance from Bhuvan Karki guided Nepal Armed Police Force Club to the final of the Prime Minister Cup National one-day cricket tournament as they edged defending champions and arch rival Nepal Police Club by 30 runs in the semi-final on Wednesday.
The man-of-the-match Karki scored 42 runs in batting and claimed four wickets for the APF, who will meet the winners of the second semi-final between Tribhuvan Army Club and Bagmati Province in the summit clash on Saturday. Army and Bagmati will lock horns on Thursday.
Put into bat first at the TU grounds, APF garnered 203-9 in the allotted 50 overs and bowled out their fierce rivals for 173 runs in 49.2 overs.
APF had a shaky start to their innings and were 43-4 in 13.5 overs. But decent contributions from Shankar Rana, Sundeep Jora and Karki propelled them to the moderate target. Opener Asif Sheikh was out for one run while his opening partner Subash Khakurel contributed 19 runs. Skipper Sharad Vesawkar hit 18 runs and number five batsman Sumit Maharjan was out for one run.
But highest scorer Rana, who contributed 44 runs, and Jora shared a 64-run partnership for the fifth wicket before the latter was dismissed for 34 runs. Jora hit three boundaries and a six. Rana, the next wicket to fall, hit four boundaries in his 96-ball knock before being caught by Sunil Dhamala off Dipendra Singh Airee.
Karki, who came to bat at number seven, hit one four and two sixes in his 56-ball knock. He was stumped by wicketkeeper Anil Sah. Kamal Airee was another notable contributor with 19 runs in his kitty while Abinash Bohara remained not out for 11 runs.
Police all-rounder Aarif Sheikh, who picked leg injury in the 46th over during fielding, grabbed three wickets. Lalit Rajbanshi and Dipendra Singh Airee claimed two wickets each. Sheikh conceded 31 runs in his 10-over spell with a maiden over.
Sheikh, one of the consistent performers for Police with bat and a top order batsman, was forced to bat as number 10 batsman due to injury. He was out for 16 runs.
The defending champions Police made a poor start to their run chase losing three wickets for 15 runs. They lost openers Sunil Dhamala (3) and Kushal Bhurtel (0) and Amit Shrestha (8) cheaply.
But middle order batsmen Dipendra Singh Airee, Anil Sah and Pawan Sarraf gave life to Police’s fightback. Airee hit 33 off 69, Sah contributed 21 off 44 and Sarraf, the highest scorer for Police, scored 40 off 61. Rashid Khan was the other remarkable contributor scoring 34 runs off 51 and Sagar Dhakal hit 11 runs.
APF’s Karki came up with an economical figure with the ball conceding 21 runs in 9.2 overs with a maiden over. Kamal Airee, Abinash Bohara and Sharad Vesawkar pocketed two wickets each.