Departmental teams, Bagmati off to flying startsArmy beat Karnali, Police see off Sudurpaschim, APF overcome Province 2 and Bagmati defeat Lumbini.
All three departmental teams — Tribhuvan Army Club, Nepal Police Club and Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club — and Bagmati Province made winning starts to their Prime Minister Cup Twenty20 National cricket tournament that commenced in Kathmandu on Monday.
In the opening match at the TU grounds in Kirtipur, Army registered a thumping 63-run victory over Karnali Province after Jitendra Mukhiya shone with the ball. Put to bat first, Army were bowled out for a moderate total of 116 with five balls to spare. Chasing the target, Karnali failed in the batting departmental and were bowled out for 53 runs in 14.4 overs.
Army captain Binod Bhandari contributed 29 off 177 that included two fours and sixes each. Hari Chauhan (20 runs), Rohit Paudel and Kushal Malla (10 runs each) were the other players to score double-digit figures for Army.
Karnali bowler Prakash Jaishi picked three wickets while Anuj Chunara pocketed two.
In the run chase, Karnali opener cum captain Rtabindra Shahi and Aruju Gharti were the only batters to touch double digit figures. Shahi scored 15 runs before being trapped leg before by player-of-the-match Mukhiya. Gharti contributed 16 runs. He was bowled by Shahab Alam.
Mukhiya gave away 15 runs in his four overs spell. Sushan Bhari and Alam picked two wickets each.
In the late match at the same venue, APF pulled a 24-run victory over Province 2. Batting first, APF posted a challenging total of 163-5 after openers Pradeep Airee and Aasif Sheikh scored half a century each. Chasing the target, Province 2 were restricted to 139-9 at close.
APF openers Airee cracked 48-ball 60 and Sheikh contributed 63 off 45. The duo shared a 120-run partnership for the first wicket before Sheikh was dismissed. Sheikh, the player-of-the-match, hit three fences and five sixes while Airee cracked nine boundaries. Sundeep Jora contributed 17 runs.
Rupesh Singh of Province 2 was the pick of the bowling claiming four wickets in his four-over spell conceding 25 runs.
Chasing the target, opener Harishankar Shah scored 36 runs while Mohammad Aadil Alam scored 35 runs. Suraj Patel (15 runs), Bibek Yadav (13 runs) and Kumar Thapa (not out 10 runs) were the other contributors for Province 2.
APF bowlers Kamal Airee, Abinash Bohara and Bhuvan Karki picked two wickets each.
At the low-scoring game in Mulpani grounds, Police toiled hard for their two-run win over Sudurpaschim Province. Put to bat first, Police managed 93-8. Openers Kushal Bhurtel scored 38-ball 21 and Pawan Sarraf 16-ball 20 for the departmental team.
Sudurpaschim bowlers Narayan Joshi and Aditya Mahat grabbed three wickets each while Sherp Malla pocketed two wickets.
In the run chase, opener Gajendra Bohara contributed 27 off 25 and Narayan Joshi 22 off 15. Khadak Bohara scored 13 runs. They however, were two runs short of the target. The player-of-the-match Aarif Sheikh of APF grabbed four wickets in his four-over spell conceding nine runs.
In the second match at Mulpani, Subash Khakurel cracked a half century as Bagmati scored 114-7 before bowling out Lumbini Province for 65 runs in 15.4 overs to pull off a 49-run win.
Put to bat first, Bagmati's opener Khakurel, also player of the match, scored 51 off 53 that included three boundaries and two sixes. Captain Gyanendra Malla (19 runs) and Ishan Pandey (13 runs) were other major contributors.
Lumbini bowlers Durgesh Gupta and Amil Kharel claimed two scalps each.
But Lumbini made a poor start to their run chase losing five wickets for 26 runs. Basir Ahamad (11 runs) and captain Krishna Karki (16 runs) were the only batters to touch double digit figures.
Among the Bagmati bowlers, Nandan Yadav grabbed three wickets while Ramnaresh Giri, Subash Khatri and Tilak Bhandari picked two wickets each.