APF, Police storm into PM Cup semisAPF thump Lumbini by seven wickets to stay perfect, Police thrash Karnali by 89 runs to advance with a match in hand.
Departmental teams Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club and Nepal Police Club maintained their perfect record to storm into the semi-final of the Prime Minister Cup Twenty20 National cricket tournament in Kathmandu on Friday.
At the Mulpani grounds, APF registered a seven-wicket victory over Lumbini Province to top group ‘B’ with eight points winning all four matches. Lumbini are fourth with two points after three matches.
In group ‘A’, Police thumped Karnali Province by 89 runs at the TU cricket ground to register their third consecutive win. The victory assured Police a spot in the semi-final with a match in hand. Karnali crashed out after only managing two points from four matches.
Police have six points from three matches and will meet Province 1 in their last group match on Saturday.
Tribhuvan Army Club, who saw off Sudurpaschim Province by three wickets in Mulpani, sit second in Group ‘A’ with five points after playing their last group match. They could advance into the last four as group runners-up if Police beat Province 1 on Saturday.
Put into bat first, Lumbini posted 104-9 before APF chased the target for the loss of three wickets in 11 overs. Lumbini's opener Dev Khanal scored 43 off 42 that included five boundaries and a six. Sushan Thapa contributed 15-ball 18 and captain Krishna Karki scored 13 runs.
APF bowlers Kamal Airee, Kishore Mahato, Abinash Bohara and Dipak Bohara shared two wickets apiece while captain Sharad Vesawkar picked one scalp.
Chasing the paltry total, openers Pradeep Airee and Aasif Sheik gave a solid start to the APF innings with a 74-run stand for the first wicket before Airee was dismissed. Airee played a quickfire knock of 20-ball 36 with two fences and four sixes. The player of the match Sheik scored 43 off 26 hitting four boundaries and three sixes. Lokesh Bam (7) and Sundeep Jora (9) both remained unbeaten.
In another match in Kirtipur, opener Kushal Bhurtel and Dipendra Singh Airee scored half centuries each as Police posted 244-6, the highest total of the tournament, before restricting Karnali at 155-9.
Electing to bat first, opener Bhurtel smashed a quickfire knock of 39-ball 82. The player of the match hit nine fences and three sixes before he was caught by Dinesh Adhikari off Rabindra Shahi. Airee smashed 62 off 28 that featured nine fours and two sixes before he was caught by Prakash Jaishi off Shahi.
Dilip Nath (31 not out), Pawan Sarraf (22), captain Manjeet Shrestha (19) and Aarif Sheikh (18 not out) were the other key contributors for APF.
Karnali bowler Anuj Shunara, Prakash Jaishi and Shahi claimed two wickets each.
Chasing the target, middle order batsman Prakash Jaishi contributed 47-ball 68 runs but could not get ample support from the other end. Tailender Diwan Pun and captain Rabindra Shahi contributed 17 runs each with the former remaining unbeaten.
APF's Dipendra Singh Airee and Yogendra Singh Karki claimed two wickets apiece.
At the Mulpani grounds, Bikram Sob delivered an all-round show for Army as they bowled out Sudurpaschim for 115 runs after inviting them to bat first. In reply, Army made 120-7 in 20 overs with Shahab Alam hitting the winning six in the last delivery of the innings.
Sudurpaschim batsmen Khadak Bohora and Basant Karki played a 62-run partnership for the third wicket after losing openers with just 10 runs on board. Bohara played 42-ball 37 and Karki hit 28-ball 34. Arjun Saud was the other player to contribute in double digit scoring 15 runs.
Army bowler Bikram Sob ripped through Karnali batting taking six wickets. The player of the match gave away eight runs in his four-over spell.
In the run chase, Army opener Hari Chauhan scored 33 off 39 while Sob contributed 22-ball 29 remaining unbeaten. Chauhan hit four fences while Sob hit a boundary and two sixes. Bhim Sharki scored 13 runs and Kushal Malla contributed 11 runs.
Sudurpaschim bowler Aaditya Mahata grabbed four wickets in his four-over spell conceding 14 runs.
In another match at the TU ground, Bagmati defeated Province 2 by five wickets to secure their second victory from the third match and sent the latter crashing out. Bagmati have four points from three matches while Province 2 exited with two points.
Electing to bat first, Province 2 made 155-6 after Harishankar Shah scored an unbeaten half century. Shah scored 54-ball 56 that included five fours and a six. Bibek Yadav hit 28 runs and Hasim Ansari remained not out on 26 runs.
Bagmati bowlers Rijan Dhaka and Bipin Acharya claimed two wickets apiece.
Chasing the target, Bagmati batters Ishan Pandey contributed 32 runs while Lucky Kathayat scored 28 runs. Opener Subash Khakurel and captain Gyanendra Malla hit 20 runs each, Pratish GC was not out on 22 runs and Nandan Yadav on 15 runs.
Province 2 bowler Jitendra Yadav picked two wickets while Parthik Yadav, Harishankar Shah and Bibek Yadav pocketed one wicket each.