Madhesh Province has created history by winning the KP Oli T20 Cup title held in Pokhara. In a remarkable 11-run victory, Madhesh triumphed over Tribhuwan Army Club, a team comprising ten players having already represented Nepal, including six from the current squad.
This is the first-ever national-level tournament won by Madhesh Province. Their journey throughout the tournament was sensational. They stunned departmental sides that traditionally dominated national tournaments, sidelining Nepal Police Club in the group stage and overcoming APF in the semifinals before ultimately triumphing over Army to clinch the coveted cup.
Opting to bat first, Madhesh managed to score 135/8 against strong bowling lineup. Bishal Patel coming into the bat at a pitiful situation of 55/5 in the 11th over played a brilliant knock of 49* from 32 balls to rescue the team. Skipper Harishankar Shah scored 27 whereas Himansu Dutta added 14 runs.
Bibek Yadav and Shahab Alam were standout bowlers grabbing three scalps each. Sompal Kami and Basir Ahmad also pocketed one each.
In response, the star-studded batting lineup could score only 124/7 in 20 overs, falling short by 11 runs. Captain Harishankar Shah was the pick of a bowler for his side with a brilliant four wickets (4-0-19-4). Pradip Paswan and Parthik Yadav also grabbed two and one wicket respectively.
For the Army, captain Binod Bhandari top scored with 32 runs. Bibek Yadav’s 14-ball 25 at the end was not enough for them with a little and sluggish contribution from the top order. Bhim Sharki and Sompal Kami also contributed 22 and 16* runs.
The KP Oli T20 Cricket Tournament was organized by the Madan Bhandari Sports Academy in Pokhara. The tournament featured seven provinces, three departmental teams, and two teams of organizers, Madan Bhandari Sports Academy, competing for a winning prize of NPR Five Lakhs and a runner-up prize of NPR Two Lakhs Fifty Thousand.