Police defeat Army to clinch men’s T20 cricketKushal Bhurtel’s half-century and Sunil Dhamala’s 42 help Police win the departmental derby by eight wickets.
Nepal Police Club defeated Tribhuvan Army Club by eight wickets in the final to win their first men’s T20 cricket gold at the Ninth National Games on Friday.
In a match reduced to eight overs a side due to rain at the TU Cricket Ground, Kushal Bhurtel scored a half-century and put on a 92-run stand with Sunil Dhamala, who made not out 42, for the first wicket as Police chased down the target of 104 in 6.5 overs.
Player-of-the-match Bhurtel’s quickfire 19-ball 51 featured three boundaries and six sixes before he was trapped leg before by Jitendra Mukhiya in the third delivery of the sixth over.
Police captain Dipendra Singh Airee (4) soon followed—caught behind off Sushan Bhari—Bhurtel to the pavilion but by then the task was already made too easy, and Aarif Shiekh hit a winning six with his first bat to give Police a historic victory.
Earlier, sent to bat first after losing the toss, Army made a terrible start to their innings after Police pacer Gulsan Jha hit early, removing opener Arjun Saud for a duck in his first delivery and picking the prized scalp of Rohit Paudel , who smashed four sixes in his 10-ball 28—three of them coming succession off Rashid Khan in the second over.
Bhim Sharki (11) and Saud’s opening partner Kushal Malla (13) made little contributions.
But Binod Bhandari batted aggressively to revive the Police innings, hitting fours and sixes in rapid succession in his 14-ball 40 before Lalit Rajbanshi stopped his march in the first ball of the eighth over.
The spinner, who returned the match figures of 4-2, removed Sonu Tamang for a duck in the next ball before Sompal Kami fell casualty as Police posted 103-6 in a rain-affected day.
Sudurpaschim Province secured the bronze medal by toss after their third-place playoff against NRNA Sports Academy was abandoned due to rain.
The rain-hit men’s cricket—which took place a month before the official opening of the week-long National Games set to begin on October 14—has come under fire after only 11 out of 29 matches failed to yield results due to downpour.
Mulpani Cricket Ground could not host a single match after rain interrupted all 11 fixtures scheduled there, with title contenders APF Club and Bagmati Province suffering the most after both bowed out of contention without playing a single match.
An effort to possible rescheduling of the cancelled fixtures also went ashtray after Army opposed the plans.