APF lifts Lalitpur Mayor Women’s Cup again as Sudurpashchim fell short of two runs

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, May 19The Armed Police Force (APF) Club lifted the 4th Lalitpur Mayor Women’s Championship, making it four times in a row, after defeating Sudurpashchim Province in the final played at TU International Cricket Ground on Saturday.

APF remained unbeaten throughout the tournament to clinch the trophy for the fourth time in its fourth edition. However, APF, a dominating side, was given tough competition by Sudurpashchim as the defending champion almost lost the trophy.

Winning the toss and electing to bat first, APF posted 155 runs on the board in the loss of four wickets; it was the fourth edition’s highest total for a team.

The two openers for APF – Rajmati Airee and skipper Sita Rana Magar – gave the team the required start as the duo departed only after registering individual half-centuries. 

Airee fell as the first wicket for APF after getting stumped in the final ball of the 13th over. When Airee (50 off 46) departed, APF was at 91 runs. While Magar continued her attack, she did not get a good support from the other end.

Magar departed as the fourth wicket for APF following Indu Barma (9 off 8) and Roma Thapa (6 off 5). Magar added 74 off 55 before getting bowled by Ritu Kanoujiya in 19.5 overs. 

Bindu Rawal and Radhika Pujara also claimed a wicket each for Sudurpashchim. 

Posting the highest total, APF was confident of lifting the championship again by disallowing Sudurpashchim to chase the target of 156 runs in 120 deliveries.

Everything was going well for the defending champion until the 7th over as three wickets of Sudurpashchim fell in the first over after the first powerplay bowled by Suman Bist. 

Sudur’s opener Sabitra Dhami was run out in the first ball of the over and Ritu was run out without facing a single delivery in the next ball. Suman Bist then sent Sudur’s skipper Bindu Rawal (19 off 17) back to the pavilion in the fourth ball of the 7th over as she was caught out.

Until then Karuna Bhandari had taken care of the top two batters – opener Rubi Poddar (5 off 6) and in-at-three Samjhana Khadka (10 off 8). 

Nevertheless, APF could not take any more wickets after the fall of Rawal’s. In-at-six Laxmi Saud and in-at-seven Kabita Joshi then rocketed the runs for Sudurpashchim and ended the match almost in their favour.

Sudurpashchim once required 49 off 25 balls. Scoring boundaries and stealing runs, Saud and Joshi were taking the inning further. Moreover, two consecutive sixes in the fourth and fifth ball of the 19th over by Joshi took Sudur nearer to the win.

However, APF’s Rekha Rawal was given the final over and she defended the six runs. Saud and Joshi could only steal three runs in the final over. While Rekha could not bag any wickets in the final match, she helped the team lift the trophy. 

Best performances

APF’s Sita Rana Magar, who was adjudged the player of the match in the final for her batting inning of 74 off 55, was the third top run scorer of the tournament. She scored 142 runs in five innings.

Meanwhile, Sudurpashchim’s Samjhana Khadka and Kabita Joshi ended the tournament as the first and second top scorers. Samjhana scored 156 runs and Joshi scored 146 runs in five innings each. 

On the other hand, Kritika Marasini of Lumbini tops the list of highest wicket-takers with 11 wickets in four innings. She is followed by Sudurpashchim’s Ritu Kanoujiya and APF’s Karuna Bhandari with seven and six wickets respectively.

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