Kathmandu – Hari Chauhan led from the front while Jitendra Mukhiya, Bikram Sob & Shahab Alam starred with the ball as Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) beat Armed Police Force Club (APF) by 33 runs in the final of the fourth edition of Prime Minister Cup Men’s National Cricket tournament in Kathmandu on Saturday and clinched their first title.
Needing 211 runs to win the final, APF were off to a solid start as Asif Sheikh made 61 off 71 balls with eight boundaries and a six. APF lost their opener Subash Khakurel and Skipper Sharad Vesawkar for 14 runs and 0 runs respectively. Vesawkar’s lean patch with the bat came to end with a duck. He could only manage a total of 75 runs from six matches with an average of 15.00 throughout the tournament.
Shankar Rana and Sheikh steadied the ship with a useful partnership of 71 from 101 balls to guide their team, closer to victory. However, their partnership was broken after Rana (21) was dismissed by Shahab Alam in twentieth over. At this stage, APF were 91 for 3 and were cruising along for the victory.
Sumit Maharjan came at the crease and made a 25 run-partnership with Sheikh before Sheikh threw his wicket to Jitendra Mukhiya. In-form Sundeep Jora joined Maharjan at the crease. Both were looking good at the crease with a fifth-wicket partnership of 24 runs off 34 balls and then Sumit lost the control against the short-ball, trying to pull against Bikram Sob. Hari Chauhan took a simple catch at mid-on region. He made 19 runs from 40 balls with a boundary and a six.
APF had another partnership of 20s between Sundeep Jora and Bhuvan Karki, their last batting pair. Karki got trapped leg-before for 9(19) and APF were 160/6 in 37th over. Jora tried his luck with a four and a six in his inning but failed to take his team home. He was Sob’s third victim as he was caught at the short cover region for 29 off 36 balls.
Finally, at 42nd over, Shahab Alam dismissed Kamal Airee and Abinash Bohora in successive deliveries to dismiss APF for 178 runs. APF lost their last four wickets for four runs. It was a complete collapse at the end to lose the game by 33 runs, still, 51 balls left in the match.
Earlier today, Batting first, losing the toss at the Kirtipur Cricket Ground, Army managed 211 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their 50.0 overs. It was the first occasion for Army team not to be dismissed inside 50 overs in the final of PM Cup.
Army tried a new opening pair today, in the form of Susan Bhari and Anil Mandal. The new pair put up 32 runs for the first wicket as Sushan Bhari was dismissed for 13(34). Anil Mandal followed in the next over, caught by Asif Sheikh off Bohora for 11(21).
Hari Chauhan hit his first fifty in the tournament to hold one end for Army team. He made 58 runs from 102 balls including six boundaries.
Bhim Sharki failed with the bat today, facing 36 deliveries for his 7 runs. Out of form, Rohit Paudel managed 13 runs from 30 balls including a six. He would like to forget this tournament, especially with the bat as he only managed 100 runs from six matches with an average of 16.66 and the highest score of 36.
Rajesh Pulami put up a fight with a run-a-ball 28, including 2 fours and a six. TAC’s lower-ordered contributed 104 runs that include the innings from Number 10 batsman, Shahab Alam, who played a cameo of 25 runs from 14 balls, hitting two boundaries and six. Lokesh Bam and Bikram Sob contributed 15 and 11 runs respectively and ensured their team’s score passed 200 plus.
Abinash Bohara was the most successful bowler for APF. He conceded 25 runs for his fours wickets including two maidens. Kishor Mahat had two dismissals and Karki & Vesawkar shared one wicket each.
TAC had shared the trophy with Police Club in 2017 and lost to APF and Police Club respectively in the next two editions.