APF edge Mayor’s XI to set up Police title clashAPF register a seven-wicket victory over Sandeep Lamichane-led side to finish second in the table and book a final battle with toppers Police.
Unbeaten half-centuries from skipper Sharad Vesawkar and Sundeep Jora gave Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club a seven-wicket victory over Kathmandu Mayor’s XI as they reached the final of the Kathmandu Mayor’s Cup one-day cricket tournament at the Mulpani cricket ground on Thursday.
The duo shared an unbeaten partnership of 121 runs for APF to set up Saturday's title clash against arch-rivals and table toppers Nepal Police Club. Inviting Mayor’s XI to bat first, APF bowled them out for 177 runs in 48.5 overs before surpassing the target in 44.1 overs at the loss of three wickets.
At the TU cricket ground, a century from former national skipper Paras Khadka gave Bagmati Province a 10-run victory over Tribhuvan Army Club. However, the win was not sufficient for the national team captain Gyanendra Malla-led Bagmati to secure a place in the final.
The outcome assured APF a second place finish with equal six points as table toppers Nepal Police Club. The two sides are separated only by net run rates. Bagmati finished third with four points winning two matches while Army and Mayor’s XI came fourth and fifth with two points each after the completion of league rounds. Only the sides finishing on top two positions are eligible to compete in the final.
APF skipper Vesawkar played a patient knock of an unbeaten 61 runs from 118 deliveries while Jora hit 62 runs off 79. Vesawkar hit five boundaries and a six while Jora cracked nine fences. Opener Shankar Rana scored 31 off 49 while Bhuvan Karki contributed 11 runs.
Mayor’s XI bowlers Anuj Chunara, Anil Kharel and Sandeep Lamichhane bagged a wicket each.
Earlier, Sandeep Rajali contributed the highest 48 runs for Mayor’s XI after they lost openers Khadka Bohara for 13 runs and Anil Kharel for four runs. Rajalai, who hit five boundaries in his 83-ball knock, combined to play a 65-run third wicket stand with Harishankar Shah before he was bowled by Kamal Airee.
Shah contributed 36 runs in his 57-ball knock that included two boundaries and sixes apiece. Mayor XI captain Lamichhane and Bikram Bhusal, who scored 11 runs and 20 runs respectively, were the other players to score in double digits.
APF bowlers Airee and Kamal Bohara pocketed three wickets each. Airee gave away 25 runs in his 10 bowling overs with three maiden overs while Bohara conceded 41 runs in his 8.5 over spell.
At the TU grounds, former national captain Khadka smashed 119 runs for Bagmati as they scored 266 runs with two balls to spare against Army. He hit 11 boundaries and two sixes in his 133-ball knock before he was caught by Jitendra Mukhiya off Sompal Kami in 42.4 overs.
Lower middle order batsman Nandan Yadav played a quickfire unbeaten 42 off 25 deliveries. He hit five fences and a six. Ishan Mukhiya (26) and Prithu Baskota (12) were the other batsmen to touch double digit figures.
Army’s Sompal Kami grabbed the highest five wickets. He gave 65 runs in his 10-over spell.
In the run chase, Army skipper Binod Bhandari also scored an equal 119 runs as Khadka as the departmental team were bowled out for 256 runs in 47.1 overs. He faced 114 deliveries before he was stumped by Aakash Thapa off Ariyo Poudel in 45.6 overs. He hit eight fences and six sixes.
Army opener Lokesh Bam contributed 46 runs while Karan KC scored 24 runs. Rohit Paudel, who scored 15 runs, was the other Army batsman to reach double figures.
Bagmati’s Ariyo Poudel was the pick of bowling claiming five wickets in 8.5 overs. He gave away 46 runs. Ramnaresh Giri pocketed two wickets.