APF national cricket champions

Nepal APF Club defeated Nepal Police Club (NPC) by eight wickets to clinch the title of the Pepsi Standard Chartered One-Day National Cricket Tournament on Saturday.

With the win, APF bagged a purse of Rs 150,000 while NPC had to satisfy with Rs 100,000 as the runners-up.

Winning the toss, NPC opted to bat first and scored 216 losing all the wickets in 49.5 overs at TU ground, Kirtipur. NPC did not have good start as it lost opener Binod Bhandari (7) in the fifth over when the score was 16 runs on board. Another opener Mahesh Chhetri also went out in succession with 18 runs under his belt.

Faijlur Rahaman and Sunny Pun had 41-run partnership for the third wicket which gave NPC a good base for the total. Rahaman (29), who was run out, was the first to be sent back to the pavilion in 20.3 overs. Pun soon followed suit with his personal 19 runs.

Naresh Budhayer and Pradeep Aire had 52-run partnership which guided the team toward a respectable score. Aire banged five huge sixes and two boundries for his 65 runs off 61 balls.

Shakti Gauchan bagged three wickets in 10 overs conceding 31 runs for APF. Amrit Bhattari took two wickets while Prithu Baskota, Basanta Regmi and Paras Khadka shared a wicket each.

APF reached the target in just 42.2 overs losing only two wickets. A 148-run partnership between captain Paras Khadka and Sharad Vesawkar guided APF for the victory. Khadka scored not out 95 runs off 87 balls with 10 boundaries and three sixes. Vesawkar played 113 balls for his 62 runs with four boundaries.

APF openers Paresh Lohani and Dipendra Chaudhary gave a good start for the team. Both the players were out when the total was 69 runs on board in 15.4 overs. Lohani had scored 24 runs off 18 balls before being run out while Chaudhary scored 21 runs off 36 balls. Puspa Thapa sent Chaudhary back to the pavilion in his nine overs conceding 40 runs.

After the defeat NPC coach Manoj Katuwal said that the players missed more than four catches which cost them the match.

NPC captain Binod Das said that they batted well but the bowling department was not good enough to win the match.

APF captain Paras Khadka said that the final was expected to be tough and the wicket on which they played was better than the earlier matches. “NPC played well in the match. Aire innings was better and shows the future of Nepali cricket.”

Khadka further added that 217 runs are rarely chased in national tournaments. “We played as per our plan. We had a good start with our opener.” Captain Khadka added.

Shakti Gauchan was awarded player-of-the-series and best bowler of the tournament for which he bagged a purse of Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000. Antim Thapa received the best batsman award of the tournament and took away Rs 15,000.

Republica Online