APF, Baitadi in semis


Armed Police Force (APF) and region no. 6 Baitadi progressed to the semi-finals of the Pepsi Standard Chartered T-20 Senior National Cricket Tournament as winners of group A and B respectively on Wednesday.

Likewise, region no. 8 Pokhara too booked their berth in the final four as group B runners-up. Pokhara, region no. 7 Janakpur and region no. 5 Nepalgunj all had two points from three matches but Pokhara went ahead due to better run rate.

Santosh Bhatt five-wicket haul and Binod Bhandari’s unbeaten 76 runs helped Baitadi rout Nepalgunj by 10 wickets in their last group match at TU Ground.

With the win, Baitadi topped the table with six points from three matches. Sent in to field, Binod Lama got rid of the top order while Bhatt wrecked the middle order apart to bowl Nepalgunj out for 100 runs in 17.3 overs.

Shubendu Pandey (14) was the first batsmen to return with just 18 runs on the board. Bhatt then got rid of Rupesh Sharma (18) to put the opponent on the back foot.

Only Mahesh Chhetri and Bhupendra Thapa showed some resistance as Chhetri stroked 25 runs before getting bowled by Bhatt in the 11th over at the time Nepalgunj were 75/4. Bhupendra remained 20 not out.

Bhandari, who has been impressive with his batting, stitched 104 runs opening

partnership with Saroj Rawal

to accomplish the target in 14.4 overs.

Rawal chipped in 20 runs while Bhandari reached his half century in 32 balls and smashed five sixes and seven boundaries on his way to 54-ball 76 runs.

In the other match, despite nailing Pokhara by five wickets Janakpur failed to progress to the semi-finals on the basis of run rates. Anil Mandal claimed three wickets for Janakpur as they restricted Pokhara to 137/9 runs. Mandal’s wickets included that of Rahul Viswakarma, who smashed a half century off 34 balls.

Mandal played a cameo of 54-ball 94 runs as Janakpur completed the target in 13 overs with the loss of five wickets. Mandal, who had opened the innings, remained at the crease until Janakpur had put on 134 runs on the board. Viswakarma bowled him out.

At the Engineering Ground, Biratnagar overcame Kathmandu by 19 runs. Sunny Pun stroked a half century as Biratnagar piled on 146/5 on the board.

Pramod Basnet’s half century went in vain as Kathmandu managed only 127/9 in the allotted 20 overs. Puspha Thapa and Mehboob Alam clinched two wickets each for Biratnagar.

Similarly, region no. 4 Bhairahawa won their second match of the tournament after defeating Birgunj by 29 runs.

Posted on: 2012-12-27 09:08