DHANGADHI, Jan 29: Pentagon International College clinched the title of Hotel Devotee SPA Cup Inter-college Cricket tournament here on Tuesday. Pentagon put up all-round performance to beat defending champion NASA International by four wickets in the final.
Pentagon, which had suffered semifinal defeats in the last edition, was in no mood to let the opportunity go away this time. Pentagon bundled out NASA for 77 runs in 15.5 overs and successfully chased the target in 13.4 overs losing six wickets.
Winner Pentagon received Rs 200,000 while runner-up NASA bagged Rs 100,000 in the domestic cricket tournament with the highest cash prize.
NASA elected to bat but could not resist Pentagon´s bowling attack as its opener Subash Pradhan (1 run) was dismissed by Santosh Bhatta in the second over.
Former national team player Mehboob Alam claimed two wickets and man-of-the-final Kamal Kishor Premi picked three wickets to rattle NASA. Premi bowled 2.5 overs and gave away 11 runs. Likewise, Binod Chhetri took two wickets.
Rahul Singh tried to anchor the NASA innings scoring 45 runs off 40 balls with three fours and three sixes before Premi claimed his wicket at the end of the innings. As wickets kept falling at the other end, Singh could not build any substantial partnership. The 24-run sixth-wicket partnership between Singh and Bibek Jha (10 runs) wicket was the highest of the innings.
In the low-scoring match, Pentagon also did not have a good start. Opener Mahesh Chhetri was dismissed for only five runs while his partner Mehboob Alam, who scored a blistering century in the semifinal against host SPA on Monday, departed adding only nine runs, which included a six. Suresh Gurgain claimed both the wickets.
Durgesh Singh dismissed Pentagon captain Naresh Budhaair (1 run) and Hasim Ansari (10 runs) to add excitement in the final match.
Pushpa Thapa clobbered 28 runs off 23 balls with five fours and a six to take Pentagon closer to the target. Rahul Singh claimed the wickets of Santosh Bhatta (1 run) and Thapa to limit Pentagon to 56/6 in 10 overs. Lal Bahadur Adhikari dropped Anupam Singh in the next over and Raj Kumar Pradhan struck a six two balls later to end the possibility of a miracle. Singh remained not out on 13 runs and Pradhan scored an unbeaten eight runs.
Pentagon captain Budhaair won the man-of-the-series award as he scored 123 runs and claimed seven wickets during the tournament. He received Rs 50,000. Pentagon batsman Mehboob Alam, who scored 183 runs in the tournament, was adjudged the best batsman of the tournament while NASA bowler Suresh Guragain, who took nine wickets in the tournament, received the best bowler award. Alam and Guragain got Rs 20,000 each.
Dinesh Thagunna of Aishwarya Vidya Niketan and Sanjay Pant of Kailali Multiple Campus were adjudged the emerging player and the best fielder of the tournament respectively. Likewise, man-of-the-final Premi received Rs 10,000.
Cricket Association of Nepal Vice-president Chatur Bahadur Chand and Chairman of SPA Yogendra Bahadur Shahi gave away prizes to the winners.
Altogether 16 college teams had participated in the tournament organized by Sudur Paschimanchal Academy.