APF starts T20 tournament with win

KATHMANDU: Nepal APF Club, which was recenlty crowned National One-Day cricket champion, started the Pepsi Standard Chartered T20 National Cricket Tournament on a winning note on Monday.

APF defeated Region No 3 (Kathmandu) by a huge margin of 123 runs in the match played at the TU Cricket Ground, Kirtipur. In another match played at the same venue, Region No 1 (Biratnagar) beat Region No 6 (Baitadi) by six wickets.

In the day´s other matches played at the Pulchowk Engineering Ground, Nepal Police Club overpowered Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) by 6 wickets while Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) registered a four-wicket win over Region No 2 (Birgunj).

APF, which was without its regular captain Paras Khadka, elected to bat first and scored 170 runs losing only five wickets in the regular 20 overs. Dipendra Chaudhary scored an unbeaten 56 off 44 balls with four fours and two huge sixes. Opener Paresh Lohani scored 43 runs off 32 balls with six fours and a six.

Rikesh Lama was the most successful bowler for Kathmandu as he bagged two wickets in his four overs conceding 32 runs. Sudeep Sharma and Pramod Basnet took a wicket each.

A tight bowling display then saw APF restrict Kathmandu to 47 runs in 15.3 overs. Mehboob Alam, Amrit Bhattarai, Shakti Gauchan, Sanjam Regmi and Basanta Regmi took two wickets each. Prithu Baskota claimed one wicket, while one batsman was run out.

None of the Kathmandu batsmen were able to reach double figures. Rikesh Lama was the highest scorer with seven runs off 16 balls. Kathmandu received 11 runs as extras.

In another match, Baitadi opted to bat first and scored 109 runs losing nine wickets in 20 overs. Santosh Bhatta scored 40 runs off 36 balls with four fours. Surendra Chand scored 30 runs off 46 balls with a six.

Manoj Mandal, who had taken a hat-trick in the One-Day tournament, took five wickets in his four-over spell conceding 35 runs. Sanjeev Baral took two wickets while Amit Dahal grabbed one wicket.

Biratnagar reached the target of 110 losing four wickets in 18.1 overs. Kundan Singh remained unbeaten on 45 runs off 46 balls. Unil Shrestha was also not out on 25 runs off 33 balls with two fours and a six.

Santosh Bhatta took two wickets for Baitadi in his four overs while Binod Chhetri and Kuldeep Khadka took a wicket each.

In the first match played at the Pulchowk Engineering Ground, Nepalgunj won the toss and scored 124 runs in the regular 20 overs losing eight wickets. Sitanshu Pandey was not out on 49 runs off 31 balls with four boundaries and three huge sixes. NPC captain Binod Das took three wickets in his four overs conceding 14 runs while Chandra Saud also took three wickets. Pushpa Thapa and Rahul BK took a wicket each.

NPC successfully chased the target in 15.3 overs losing four wickets as opener Binod Bhandari scored a quick-fire 50 runs off 31 balls with five fours and three huge sixes. Pradeep Aire scored a quick 26 runs off 13 balls with three boundaries and two sixes. Subhendu Pandey took two wickets while Rahul Silwal took one wicket for Nepalgunj.

In another match, winning the toss Birgunj scored 95 runs in 20 overs with Amit Shrestha´s 38 runs off 30 balls. Bhairahawa bowlers gave away few runs to restrict Birgunj to a low total. Vivek Chaudhary and Lal Bahadhur Adhikari took two wickets each while Krishna Karki, Bijay Thapa and Bal Bahadhur Thapa took a wicket each for Bhairahawa.

Bhairahawa then made 98 runs losing six wickets with a quick-fire 34 runs off 25 balls from Sagar Pun. Pun´s knock included six fours and a six. Aakash Gupta hit three fours and two sixes for his 30 runs off 17 balls.

Jitendra Mukhiya took four wickets in his four overs conceding 21 runs while Narayan Patel took two wickets for Birgunj.