Kathmandu – Naresh Budhayair held the innings for Tribhuwan Army to a five wicket win over APF Club in the senior national cricket tournament 2071 that helped Army clinch the title of 50-over crown for the first time.
In a match played at TU Ground, Kirtipur, chasing 170 runs against a strong bowling of APF, Naresh Budhayer who had had a disastrous tournament so far, played an anchor innings. He made an unbeaten 53 off 97 balls, which guided Army to the title with 25 balls to spare.
Skipper Binod Bhandari played a good hand as well sharing a partnership of 54 runs with Naresh that set the tone for Army’s chase. Basant Regmi had him leg before for 48 runs. He blasted 3 fours and two sixes in his innings off 52 balls.
Naresh then shared an unbeaten partnership of 62 runs for the fifth wicket with Rajesh Pulami to win the game for Army. Rajesh remained not out on 35 off 49 balls.
Earlier, Army bowlers combined well to restrict a star studded APF team led by Skipper Paras Khadka to a low score of 164 runs. Jitendra Mukhiya took three wickets while Avinash Karn and Sagar Pun took two wickets each for Army. Basanta Regmi top scored with 37* runs while Pradeep Airee also scored 33 runs. Skipper Paras Khadka got out for 18 runs.
The match was reduced to 45 overs due to wet outfield. Birgunj were the defending champions of the competition. They had stunned APF in the final last year.