APF Club falter in final, Nepal Police register eight-wicket win to clinch the Mayor’s Cup title


Nepal Police Club thrashed the APF club by eight wickets to win the Kathmandu Mayor’s Cup title at the Tribhuvan University Ground on Saturday.

Scorecard: Nepal Police Club 110/2 in 24.1 overs (Sunil Dhamala 59*, Anil Sah 15, Bhuvan Karki 1-13) defeated APF Club 105 all out in 29.4 overs (Basant Regmi 22, Gulshan Jha 4-36, Sagar Dhakal 4-28) by eight wickets.

There was a big build-up, there was huge anticipation and then there was an anti-climax. A lot was expected from the Sharad Vesawkar-led side but as fate would have it, the APF Club were outplayed in all three departments, to say the least as Nepal Police won the final.

There were two domestic 50-over tournaments this season and the APF club reached both the final, however, they faltered in both. APF lost to Tribhuvan Army Club by 34 runs on January 30 and today lost against another departmental team by eight wickets.

Batting first, APF Club posted a modest 105 in 29.4 overs. Nepal Police Club bowlers played their part in the final to restrict APF Club. Young fast bowler Gulshan Jha and spinner Sagar Dhakal rout APF Club and bagged four wickets each.

Gulshan playing his second match for the Police team produced an immaculate line and length to dismiss the top order. He produced short pitch deliveries against opener Shankar Rana and dismissed him in the first over. Rana was caught behind for four runs.

Aasif Sheikh was dismissed in the second over, caught at cover region off Sagar Dhakal’s bowling. Captain Sharad Vesawkar couldn’t handle the bounce from Jha and was caught behind as well. All the in-form players Shankar Rana, Aasif Sheikh and Sharad Vesawkar failed to trouble the scorers, departing for a duck. APF were rocked back to 10 for 3 at 2.1 overs.

Bhuvan Karki (14) and Sundeep Jora (18) added 32 runs for the fourth wicket but Gulshan sent Karki to the pavilion after being caught behind. Jora was trapped leg before off Lalit Rajbanshi and APF were struggling at 47 for 5 at 12.1 overs.

Sumit Maharjan played 29 balls, however, his long stay at the crease only produced four runs as he was dismissed by another spinner, Pawan Sarraf.

Basant Regmi (22) and Amar Routela (18) tried to steady the ship with a 30-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Both the batsmen were dismissed by Sagar Dhakal in consecutive deliveries in 28th over. Regmi was trapped in front and Routela was bowled.

Gulshan was brought on and immediately produced a wicket with a bouncer. Kamal Airee went for 1 run, caught behind. The last pair took the score past 100 runs. Abinash Bohara thrashed three boundaries to add 12 runs to the total before Dhakal removed Bohara and APF were bundled out for 105 runs in 27.4 overs.

For Nepal Police, Gulshan Jha was the pick of the bowlers, bagging four wickets in his seven overs (7-0-36-4) and Sagar Dhakal produced four wickets from the wicket (7.4-0-28-4).

In reply, Nepal Police Club chase the target in just 24.1 overs. The openers added 33 runs in 10.3 overs before Kushal Bhurtel was bowled by Bhuvan Karki. Bhurtel managed 15 runs off 31 deliveries including a boundary.

Sunil Dhamala and Anil Sah contributed a 35-run partnership for the second wicket. Abinash Bohara was caught out for 15 off 21 balls, including three fours in his innings.

Dhamala (59*) and Dipendra Singh Airee (11*) took them home with an unbeaten 42-run partnership for the third wicket. Dhamala made a well-crafted half-century, holding at one end. He reached the milestone with six fours and two sixes in 76 balls.

Meanwhile, Dipendra Singh Airee hit Bohara out of the park to finish the match in style.

Bhuvan Karki and Abinash Bohara managed a wicket apiece for AFP.