KATHMANDU, Dec 13: Armed Police Force (APF) achieved its second win in a row with a 111 run thumping of Region No 6 (Baitadi) on Thursday in the Pepsi-Standard Chartered One Day National Cricket Tournament, while Region No 2 (Birgunj) made a winning start defeating Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) by 39 runs.
The second victory lifted APF to the top of group A points table with equal four points as that of second placed Region No 8 (Pokhara) on the basis of better run rate.
In group A, Birgunj and Region No 7 (Janakpur) have equal two points after one match, but Birgunj has upper hand on the basis of run rate.
In the match played at TU ground, Kirtipur, APF elected to bat first and scored 215/9 in the limited over match and bowled out Baitadi for 104 runs in 38.3 overs to hand it second defeat from as many matches played. On Wednesday, APF had defeated Region No 1 (Biratnagar) by 162 runs.
Bhupendra Thapa and Rupesh Sharma of Region No. 5 Nepalgunj run between the wicket. (Photo: Bikash Karki)
APF´s opener Paresh Lohani (54) played a 93 run partnership for the second wicket with Gyanendra Malla (39) after his opening partner Subash Khakhurel was out without scoring single run. Paresh Lohani, who was trapped leg before by Ramesh Chand in the 20.4 overs, hit seven boundaries in his knock of 56 balls.
Sharad Vesawakar (23), skipper Paras Khadka (25), Sunam Gautam (15), Basanta Regmi (17) contributed for the departmental giant. Sanjam Regmi remained unbeaten for 15 runs as APF lost Shakti Gauchan (2) and Prithu Baskota (0) were out cheaply.
Baitadi´s Chandra Sawad, Yagya Man Kumal, Pradip Aire and Prem Tamang shared two wickets each in their names while Binod Bhandari pocketed one.
Baitadi´s run chase got a major blow from off spinner Sanjam Regmi who claimed four wickets, while Basanta Regmi bagged three wickets. Man-of-the-match Sanjam had a bowling figure of 10-1-24-4 and Basanta 10-3-24-3.
Opener Roshan Nepali (36) was the highest scorer for Baitadi that lost wickets at regular intervals. Nepali was caught by skipper Paras Khadka off Sanjam Regmi.
The other batsmen to score double digit figure for Baitadi were Prem Tamang (13), Naresh Budayer (19) and Bhuwan Karki unbeaten at 14 runs. Skipper Binod Bhandari and wicket-keeper Mahendra Chand were back to the pavilion without single runs in their account. Pradeep Airee (4), Santosh Bhatta (2), Ramesh Chand (1) and Chandra Sawad (3) were out cheaply.
In the match played at Pulchowk ground, electing to bat first, Birgunj scored 209/9 and bundled out Nepalgunj for 170 runs in 46.4 overs. Opener Aarif Seikh and Shiva Tandukar scored 51 runs each for Nepalgunj´s big total.
The opening pair of Aarif Sheikh and Amit Shrestha (21) played 45 runs partnership. Fifth order batsman Shiva Tandukar played 67 runs partnership with Sanjay Maharjan who remained unbeaten for 31 runs.
Aarif Sheikh hit seven fours in his patient knock facing 111 deliveries before being caught by Rijwan Ansari. Shiva Tandukar hit three sixes and two fours off 67 deliveries. He was caught by Subendu Pandey.
Amit Shrestha (21), skipper Hasim Ansari (17), were the other batsman to score double digit, while Rabin Gurung (4), Kumar Thapa (2), Ram Naresh Giri (1), Nabin Yadav (2) and Avinash Karna (unbeaten 5) contributed for Birgunj.
Man-of-the-match Anupam Singh was the pick of Nepalgunj´s bowling claiming five wickets and giving away only 43 runs in his eight overs spell. Sammu Khan had share for three wickets and Amar Singh Routela got one.
In its run chase, Nepalgunj received early setback after its skipper and opener Mahesh Chhetri was trapped leg before with five runs on his account. But other opener Rupesh Sharma (20) gave early resistance with 58 runs stand for the second wicket with Bhupendra Thapa (23).
Fourth order batsman Subendu Pandey scored highest 64 runs that included seven fours and a six off 92 deliveries. Rijwan Ansari was unbeaten for 16 and Amar Singh Routela (10) was the only other batsman to score double digit.
Kumar Thapa of Birgunj claimed three wickets, Hasim Ansari got two and Avinash karna, Jitendra Mukhiya and Ram Naresh Giri took one wicket each.
Nepalgunj Vs Janakpur @ Kirtipur
Pokhara Vs Bhairahawa @ Pulchowk