On a day for bowlers, Mohammad Hussain picked up seven wickets for Lumbini Province to bundle out Gandaki Province for a domestic low of 23 runs as the U-19 National Cricket Tournament returned in Nepal after eight years.
Hussain, who came into the tournament picking up eight wickets in a single match during the selection tournament, stole the limelight from legt arm seamer Durgesh Gupta who had set the Everest Premier League ablaze one and half months back.
At the Mulpani Cricket Ground, his fast bowling exploits left Gandaki clueless surviving just 14.2 overs. Arjun Kumal, who headlined the Prime Minsiter Cup — a senior national tournament — top scored for them with six runs before falling prey to Durgesh.
Gandaki’s biggest contributor to the total was nine extra runs. Lumibi cantered to victory in just 5.5 overs with captain Dev Khanal stroking a 20-ball 18 not out for a nine wicket win.
At the TU grounds, Luv Kamat put an allround show mostly making impact with the ball in Province 1’s 26-run victory over Bagmati. Kamat got involved in a 78-run second wicket partnership and a late blitz from Dipak Joshi took Province 1 to what was a challenging 175 all out in 45.3 overs.
Bagmati were on the top of the game at 98-2 by the 21st over but once Luv stepped in, their reply was in disarray. Leg spinner Luv ended the partnership and destroyed the middle order as Bagmati lost their last eight wickets for just 51 runs to finish at 149 all out in 31.4 overs.
After losing both openers with just 12 runs on the board, Bipin Shahi and Bibek Magar put Bagmati on charge with an 86-run stand. However, Luv’s dismissal of Bibek triggered the collapse that began from the 21st over.
Left arm spinner Dipesh Kandel bowled Bipin the next over and from there on Province 1 tightened the screw in the game. Man-of-the-match Luv returned the figures of 5-26 from six overs and Dipesh took 3-40 from 9.4.
Bipin top scored with a 57-ball 43 hitting three fours and two sixes. Bibek’s 51-ball 42 included eight hits to the fence.
Earlier, Luv and Sonu consolidated the Province 1 innings but still they remained in danger at 138-9 in the 41st over. Dipak struck three fours and two sixes scoring a 23-ball 33 leaving the bowlers with a challenging total to defend.
Luv also made a 69-ball 33 with five boundaries and Sonu contributed 73-ball 32 to the total. His innings included four boundaries. Dipesh chipped in 23 runs, while other batsmen failed to reach double figures. Bagmati gifted 39 sundries to Province 1.
Tilak Bhandari and Krish Karki took three wickets each for Bagmati, while skipper Pratish GC had two scalps.