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7 all out, hat-trick, two 5-wkt hauls, hard-hitting Dolly: Everything is happening in PM Cup women’s cricket

The final league stage of Prime Minister Cup Women’s National Twenty20 cricket tournament was all about milestones with a lot happening throughout two matches on Thursday in Dang.

At the Deukhuri International Statdium in Lamahi, Sudur Paschim secured a place in the semi-finals from Group ‘B’ after Kabita Joshi bagged a hat-trick in a 28-run victory over Bagmati.

In a match reduced to 11-over-a-side due to poor visibility, a 37-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Dolly Bhatta and Kabita Kunwar lifted Sudur Paschim to 76-4. Bagmati could only muster 48-9 with Kabita taking a treble in the ninth over.

First Kabita ended any hopes of Bagmati fightback removing well-set Suman Khatiwada before bowling Anisha Majakoti and trapping Kanyuka Basnet leg before wicket. She came with the day’s first of the two five-wicket hauls getting rid of Khushi Dangol in the final ball of the same over.

Kabita Joshi bowled a decisive ninth over to throw Bagmati out of contest.

Player-of-the-match Kabita returned the figures of 5-10 in just two overs. Suman was the lone-fighter making a 28-ball 27 with four boundaries. Other Bagmati batswomen failed to reach double figures.

Sudur Paschim innings was lit by Dolly who slammed two sixes and two boundaries to make a 14-ball 28, the first time a player scored with a strike rate of 200. The semi-finalists of previous edition looked set for a mediocre total at 39-4 by the ninth over only to be undone by Dolly’s immense hard-hitting.

Opener Kabita Kunwar was next best scorer with a 30-ball 19, while Kabita Joshi also struck a six in her run-a-ball 12. Aarati Bidari took 3-13 from two overs for Bagmati.

The day’s biggest disappointment came for a young Gandaki side who were bundled out for Nepali women’s cricket’s lowest score of seven runs with the whole team surviving just 48 deliveries. Nine of Gandaki batswomen were out for duck. They lost three wickets in the first over itself from Sangita Rai.

Sangita returned the figures of 5-3 from four overs but it was still not the best bowling figures in the tournament. Nepal APF Club spinner Karuna Bhandari has the best figures of 5-2 from 3.1 overs against Karnali. Sangita now has eight wickets in the tournament, just one behind Karuna.

Shabnam Rai also took 4-3 from three overs for Province 1 who needed just three bowlers in the match.

Before Gandaki were bundled out for seven runs Kajal Shrestha and Roma Thapa shared 111 runs for the second wicket.

A newly-built squad of Gandaki had already crashed out of the tournament after losing two consecutive matches. They had put a fight against Bagmati a day before and up against them were Province 1 side led by national team skipper Rubina Chhetri.

Gandaki did remove Rubina after Province 1 elected to bat first. The captain had already given a good start adding 36 runs for the first wicket with Kajal Shrestha. But Gandaki’s joy short-lived with Kajal, also the national team opener, got involved in a huge 111 unbeaten partnership with Roma Thapa.

For the first time in the tournament, two batswomen struck a half century in a single match as Kajal made a 57-ball 52 and Roma contributed a 49-ball 51. Roma hit eight boundaries and Kajal’s innings included four hits to the fence.

In the semi-finals now, Province 1 will meet Group ‘A’ runners-up Lumbini and Sudur Paschim will take on APF.

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