NPC avenges APF, lifts T20 title

KATHMANDU: Nepal Police Club (NPC) have avenged the defeat suffered in National One-day Tournament on Saturday as it defeated departmental rival Nepal APF Club to lift the title of Pepsi Standard Chartered T20 National Cricket Tournament.

NPC defeated APF by four wickets and bagged a purse of Rs 125,000 while APF had to satisfy in just Rs 75,000 as runner-ups in the match played at TU Ground, Kirtipur.

NPC corrected its mistakes against APF committed during their earlier final clash. NPC players bowled and fielded well all through the match. They did not miss any chance to send APF batsmen back to pavilion.

After the final of One-day, NPC coach, Manoj Katuwal had said that the team had dropped many catches which caused his side dearly. After the T20 win, coach Katuwal said NPC has improved its fielding and bowling.

The final of T20 started an hour late as the pitch and outfield were affected by the rain last night. Winning the toss, NPC captain Binod Das opted to bowl first and restricted APF for a paltry total of 85 runs in 19.3 overs and achieved the target in 19.5 overs losing six wickets.

Das also changed the bowling order giving Spinner Bhuwan Karki to bowl the first over. Karki proved the captain´s decision accurate claiming the wicket of Sanjay Shrestha (1) in the fifth ball. Karki sent Dipendra Chaudhary (1) back to the pavilion in the first ball of his second over.

Das sent APF captain Paras Khadka (3) back to the pavilion in the first ball of his second over. With the fall of Khadka, APF were demoralized and continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. In the third ball of the same over, Binod Bhandari beautifully caught Paresh Lohani (1) in the second sleep as the score was eight for four wickets.

In the fourth ball of fifth over, Das again sent Shakti Gauchan (2) back to the pavilion. Das changed the bowling attack after his over and again succeeded to take a wicket in that over. Bhandari succeeded in taking stunning catch in the sleep off Chandra Saud´s ball to send Sharad Vesawkar (5) back. In the fourth ball of the over Saud got the wicket of Mehaboob Alam for duck. APF lost seven wickets with 20 runs on board by the end of seventh over.

Seventh order batsmen Gyanendra Malla and ninth order Basanta Regmi shared 46-runs partnership to hold the fall of wickets. Malla remained unbeaten for 35 runs off 43 balls with two boundaries and a six.

Malla was first APF batsman to hit a boundary in the 11th over of the innings. Regmi, who was sent to the pavilion by Saud in the first ball of 17th over, scored 19 runs off 29 balls with a boundary.

In the last ball of 18th over, Rahul BK bowled out Sanjam Regmi. Regmi scored seven runs in three balls with a six. Amrit Bhattarai (4) became the fourth victim of Das.

NPC did not have the good start chasing the low total. The team lost first wicket of Mahesh Chhetri for a duck in the second ball of Amrit Bhattarai. Binod Bhandari and Naresh Budhayer shared 25-runs partnership to guide the team for the second wicket.

Bhandari, who scored 10 runs in 26 balls, was caught off Alam´s bowling. Sunam Shrestha caught Puspa Thapa (1) in the deep off the ball of Sanjam Regmi.

A-42 runs partnership between Budhayer and Pradeep Aire guided the team close to the victory. Aire frustrated APF bowlers by taking short runs while Budhayer played big shots. Budhayer who scored 38 runs off 37 balls was trapped leg before in the ball of Basanta Regmi. NPC lost the wicket of Das (5) with only six runs required for victory.

Aire was also short to the crease in the third ball of the last over when NPC needed only a run for victory. Aire had scored 17 runs off 39 balls. Santosh Baral and Manjeet Shrestha were in the crease when the team crossed the target through a single.

Alam received player-of-the-series award for his all-round performance in the tournament. Dipendra Chaudhary and Shakti Gauchan received best batsman and best bowler award respectively.