Bhurtel, Shiekh inspire Police to victory in men’s T20 cricketThe batters smash half-centuries each to guide the departmental team to a 76-run win over Lumbini—their second successive victory.
Kushal Bhurtel and Aarif Sheikh scored a half-century each as Nepal Police Club defeated Lumbini by 76 runs in men’s T20 cricket at National Games in Kirtipur on Monday.
Electing to bat first, Police posted a 204-4 target. Opener Bhurtel cracked a quick-fire 75 off 36 balls that featured seven fours and five sixes and put on a 97-run partnership with Sunil Dhamala for the first wicket to lay the foundation for Police victory at TU Cricket Ground.
Bhurtel departed in the fifth delivery of the 10th over after Basir Ahamad trapped him in front. Dhamala, who made 35, soon fell when he was caught by Lumbini captain Krishna Karki off Bishal Bikram KC but Dilip Nath continued the strong start contributing 33 until Anil Kharel had him caught behind in the 20th over.
Dipendra Singh Airee departed cheaply for three but Sheikh scored an unbeaten 50 in his 65-run stand with Dilip Nath to guide Police to a formidable total.
In reply, Lumbini had a horror start to their innings after Karan KC started the demolition, sending both the openers, Dev Khanal and Prajwol Thapa, for 6 and 10, respectively.
Lalit Rajbanshi, who returned the match figures of 21-3, and Gulsan Jha did more damage removing Sandeep Rijali (4) and Bikram KC (4) as Lalitpur tottered at 33-4.
Saurav Khanal scored 24 and Basir Ahamed smashed an unbeaten 44 to steady the innings but Rajbanshi broke their stand taking the prized scalp of Khanal in the 12.6 overs to block the progress.
Rajbanshi and Jha then combined again to clean up the tail as Lumbini were restricted to 128-7.
The second straight victory means Police moved to the top of Group A with five points from three games. Their opener against Madhesh scheduled at Mulpani Cricket Ground was washed out by rain.
Tribhuvan Army Club sit in second position with four points after they defeated Madhesh by six wickets in the late match. Army’s first two matches against NRNA Sports Academy and Karnali were called off due to downpour.
Lumbini, whose first three matches were interrupted by rain, lie in the fifth position in the six-team standings.
Electing to field first, Army limited Madhesh to 104-7 thanks to two-wicket hauls each from Sompal Kami and Sushan Bhari.
Opener Santosh Karki top-scored for Madhesh contributing 21 runs. Skipper Hasim Ansari made 20, Bishal Shusling 10, and Roshan BK was not out for 17, while other batters failed to reach double digit figures.
Army’s top order crumbled after opener Arjun Saud was caught by Jitendra Yadav off Rupesh Singh for just 17 runs. Hari Chauhan (4) and Bhim Sharki (4) soon followed without contributing much.
But Rohit Paudel (25) and captain Binod Bhandari (not out 34) led the fight back with a 37-run stand to chase down the target in the 19th over. Rajesh Pulami played a not out 16.
Madhesh are fourth in the standings.
The other two fixtures between Province 1 and NRNA and APF Club and Bagmati, both scheduled at Mulpani, were abandoned due to rain.
The men’s T20 games at Mulpani ground have been marred by incessant rainfall as all nine matches scheduled there have so far failed to yield results.
Karnali vs Madhesh at Kirtipur
Army vs Lumbini at Kirtipur
Gandaki vs Police at MulpaniAPF vs Sudurpaschim at Mulpani