Police, APF set up PM Cup summit clashPolice defeat Bagmati by 50 runs and APF see off Tribhuvan Army Club by 47 runs in their semi-finals at TU grounds.
Nepal Police Club and Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club set up a mouth-watering final in the Prime Minister Cup National Twenty20 cricket tournament, winning their semi-final matches at the TU grounds in Kirtipur on Tuesday.
Police registered a convincing 50-run win over Bagmati Province after Pawan Sarraf shone with the bat and Dipendra Singh Airee’s heroics with the ball. In the late fixture of the day, APF saw off Tribhuvan Army Club by 47 runs on the back of half-centuries by opener Pradeep Airee, Aasif Sheikh and Lokesh Bam.
In the kickoff match, batting first Police scored 155-5 on the back of half-century by Sarraf and restricted Bagmati Province at 105-8 after Dipendra Singh Airee grabbed five wickets.
Opener Sarraf scored 54-ball 59 that included three fences and as many sixes before he was caught by Tilak Bhandari off Nandan Yadav in the 16th over. Dilip Nath contributed an unbeaten 31 off 16. He hit two fours and sixes each. Anil Sah and Aarif Sheikh were other remarkable contributors scoring 25 runs and 12 runs respectively.
Bagmati bowler Yadav and Rijan Dhakal claimed two wickets apiece.
Chasing the moderate target, Bagmati made a shaky start to their innings losing opener Ishan Pandey for one run. But the other opener Aadil Khan and captain Gyanendra Malla tried to consolidate the innings putting up a 43-run stand for the second wicket. Khan hit 27 off 33 and Malla 23 off 16.
After the departure of Khan and Malla, Bagmati lost five wickets in quick succession, adding 29 runs. Lower middle-order batters Rijan Dhakal and Ramnaresh Giri were other players to contribute in double digits, scoring 15 runs and 22 runs not out.
Police allrounder Airee, the former national vice-captain, ripped through Bagmati bowling claiming five wickets. The player of the match conceded 10 runs in his four-over spell apart from taking two catches. Sagar Dhakal picked two wickets.
In the late match, put to bat first, APF scored 230-2 and restricted Army to 183-9.
APF openers Airee and Sheikh both completed half-centuries and shared a 150-run partnership for the opening wicket building the foundation of the mammoth total.
Sheikh clobbered 84 off 43 that included 10 fences and five sixes before he was caught by Bikram Sob off Sumit Shrestha. Airee remained unbeaten at 57 runs facing 53 deliveries. He hit seven boundaries and a six and also shared an unbeaten 68-run partnership for the third wicket with Lokesh Bam.
It was Bam who played a key role for APF’s huge total with a quickfire 18-ball 66 runs. The player of the match hit nine sixes and two fences.
Army bowlers Jitendra Mukhiya and Sumit Shrestha picked one wicket each.
In the run chase, Army faltered in the batting department and lost wickets in regular intervals after openers Bhim Sharki and Hari Chauhan were dismissed. The duo seemed to give an ideal start to the run chase as they raced to 53 at the end of fifth over without losing wickets.
But the departure of opener Sharki, who scored 35 off 19, to APF captain Sharad Vesawkar in the following over opened the floodgates. Tul Thapa was dismissed as second wicket in the last delivery of the same over. Another opener Chauhan was dismissed in the eighth over contributing 22 off 18.
Middle-order batter Rajesh Pulami contributed the highest 38 runs off 21 for Army. Sumit Shrestha (24 runs), Bikram Sob (14), Shahab Alam (not out 21) and Sushan Bhari (not out 12) were the other players to contribute in double digits.
Captain Vesawkar was the pick of APF bowling claiming three wickets in his four-over spell conceding 16 runs. Abinash Bohara and Bhuvan Karki pocketed two wickets apiece.
The final is scheduled for Wednesday at the TU grounds.