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All round Hashim guides Birgunj to final

Hashim Ansari put an all round show as Region No 2 (Birgunj) cruised to the final of the Pepsi Standard Chartered One Day National Cricket Tournament at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on Sunday.


The former U-19 national team member Hashim remained silent in the league stage but delivered at crunch time as Birgunj defeated Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) by four wickets.


Bhairahawa had a tough time with bat struggling to reach 207 all out in 48.4 overs. Rescuing the team from a possible collapse at 33-2, Hashim shared a 108-run partnership for the third wicket with Suraj Prasad Kurmi guiding Birgunj to 211-6 in 44.4 overs.


Hashim made 71 off 68 with 10 hits to the fence in a stand where Suraj was a calm ally to his partner making 36 off 73 that included just one boundary. Bhairahawa eyes were lit up when Birgunj lost both set batsmen in a space of four runs but Aarif Sheikh and Sumit Shrestha resisted.


The two new batsmen took Birgunj close to winning total with a 48-run stand. Sumit made 27 off 36 with five boundaries and Aarif hit 25 off 35 with three fours. Lal Bahadur Adhikari picked up three wickets for Bhairahawa and Dipendra Yadav had two.


Earlier, Bhairahawa were 463 in 13.1 overs before skipper Antim Thapa consolidated the innings with two modest partnerships. Antim added 54 runs with Lal Bahadur for the fourth wickets and 48 runs with Kushal Bhurtel (21) for fifth before a late charge from Shankar Rana earned some respectability to their total.


Antim made 56 off 110 with five fours before losing his wicket to Hashim and Lal Bahadur scored 26 off 31 with four hits to the fence. Shankar collected some quick runs making 32 off 33 with three fours and a six.


Ramnaresh Giri (3-30) and Aarif (3-44) shared six wickets between them and Hashim returned with 2-40 from 10 overs. Birgunj play APF in Monday’s final. 

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