KATHMANDU: Nepal Police Club (NPC) continued its dominance in the Pepsi Standard Chartered T20 National Cricket Tournament with its third straight victory in the group stage on Wednesday.
NPC defeated Region No 2 (Birgunj) by 33 runs in a group B match played at the TU Ground, Kirtipur. With the win, NPC claimed top position in the group with six points and strengthen their hopes for final.
Winning the toss, NPC opted to bat first and scored 129 runs losing nine wickets in the regular 20 overs. NPC did not have a good start as it lost opener Fazlur Rahman (2) and Mahesh Chhetri (0) in the second over of the innings.
Opener Binod Bhandari and Naresh Budhayer´s 51-run partnership guided the team to a respectable total. Bhandari scored 35 runs off 29 balls with five fours and a six. Budhayer hit one four and one six for his 18 runs off 12 balls.
After the fall of the two set batsmen, NPC continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Pushpa Thapa scored 18 runs from 25 balls while Rahul BK made 17.
Mohammad Hasim Ansari, Narayan Patel and Sameer Thapa took two wickets each while Kumar Thapa bagged a wicket for Birgunj.
Chasing 130 runs for victory, Birgunj was bowled out for 96 runs in 19.5 overs. Bhuwan Karki took three wickets in order to give NPC the third win in the tournament.
Karki gave away 23 runs in his four overs. Rahul BK took two wickets while Binod Das, Manjeet Shrestha and Pushpa Thapa grabbed a wicket each.
Suraj Prasad Kurmi was the highest scorer for the losing team with 23 runs off 43 balls. Ansari scored 17 runs off 13 balls with one four and one six.
In another match played at the TU Ground, Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) registered a 10-run win over Region No 7 (Janakpur).
Winning the toss, Janakpur invited Nepalgunj to bat first and bowled them out for 97 runs in 17.5 overs. Bhupendra Sharma scored 25 runs off 30 balls with two fours and a six. Anupam Singh scored 15 runs off 18 balls.
Anil Kumar Mandal grabbed three wickets in his 3.5 overs conceding 12 runs. Kumar Prasun and Sameer Nepal took two wickets each for Janakpur.
In course of chasing the low total Janakpur was bowled out for 87 runs in 19.2 overs.
Rahul Silwal took three wickets in his 3.2 overs conceding 12 runs, while Subhendu Pandey and Nasir Ansari grabbed two wickets each.
Prahlad Sah scored 13 runs off 12 balls while Kumar Prasun hit two four for his 13 runs off 21 balls.
After the defeat, Janakpur lies at the bottom of the points table and is out of the tournament.
In the matches played at the Pulchowk Engineering Ground, Region No 6 (Baitadi) and Region No 3 (Kathmandu) won their respective matches. Baitadi defeated Region No 8 (Pokhara) by 55 runs while Kathmandu beat Region No 1 (Biratnagar) by 51 runs.
Baitadi opted to bat after winning the toss and scored 133 runs losing three wickets. Surendra Chand scored 46 runs off 43 balls with four fours and three huge sixes. Dinesh Agri was not out on 25 runs off 10 balls with three fours and a six, while Bikram Thalal remained unbeaten on 24 runs off 25 balls.
Amrit Shrestha, Nischal Pandey and Dipesh Khatri took one wicket each for Pokhara.
Pokhara was bowled out in 15.5 overs with 78 runs on the board. Dinesh Agri took three wickets in four overs conceding eight runs. Santosh Bhatta and Shakti Bhandari grabbed two wickets each.
Ishan Baniya scored 24 runs off 19 balls with a four and two sixes while Amrit Shrestha scored 12 runs off nine deliveries. None of the other batsmen could reach double figures.
In another match, Kathmandu was all out for 128 runs in 19.5 overs after electing to bat first. Manoj Sood scored 56 runs off 34 balls with seven fours and three huge sixes. Indra Kamal Manandhar scored 32 runs off 22 balls with three fours and two sixes. Rest of the Kathmandu batsmen failed to reach double figures.
Amit Dahal and Unil Shrestha took three wickets while Kundan Singh grabbed two wickets. Ajay Rajbanshi and Bidhan Goswami shared a wicket each.
Sandeep Sharma claimed four wickets in four overs conceding 17 runs to restrict Biratnagar to 77 runs in 15.2 overs. Pramod Basnet, Rupesh Shrivastav, Rikesh Lama, Bijay Gautam and Prasanna Shakya shared a wicket each.
Bibek Jha and Unil Shrestha were the only two batsmen from Biratnagar to reach double figures. Jha scored 15 runs while Shrestha scored 14 runs.