Tribhuwan Army Club has booked a place in the final of the KP Oli T20 Tournament. The star-studded Army defeated Sandeep Lamichhane-led Bagmati Province by four wickets in the first semifinal match.
Bagmati managed to score 127/7 in 20 overs after opting to bat first. Facing a challenging scenario, they found themselves at a precarious position of 44/6 in the 11th over, as their top and middle-order batters struggled to make an impact. Sandeep Lamichane and Pratik Shrestha added 52 runs for the seventh with Lamichhane for 19 runs from 22 balls.
Shrestha smacked three consecutive sixes against Jitendra Mukhiya in the last over as Bagmati collected 21 runs from it. He remained unbeaten for 50 runs from 35 balls with the help of three fours and four sixes. Sonu Devkota also contributed nine runs from four balls.
Shahab Alam was the pick of a bowler for the Army. He picked up four wickets conceding just 14 runs from his spell (4-1-14-4). Sompal Kami grabbed two whilst Bibek Yadav pocketed one.
In reply, the Army successfully pursued the target within 15 overs, losing six wickets in the process. Captain Binod Bhandari made an aggressive start with a quick 25 off 12 balls before being dismissed by Lamichhane. However, Bagmati Province regained momentum by taking four wickets for 55 runs in the eighth over, momentarily putting them back in the contest.
In a sudden turn of events, Kushal Malla swiftly reversed the tide in favour of the Army by smashing 27 runs from just eight balls. Bhim Sharki scored 39 runs whereas Sompal Kami who hit the winning runs remained unbeaten for 15 runs.
Sandeep Lamichhane picked up two wickets (4-0-34-2) whilst Pratish GC, Sonu Devkota, Ishan Pandey and Rit Gautam grabbed one each.
Bagmati and Army faced off in the semifinal after leading Group A and Group D, respectively, with victories in both of their matches. Army will now meet the winner of APF and Madhesh Province in the final.
Feature Photo – Khabarbani