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APF, Nepalgunj ride on half centuries

Defending champions Nepal APF Club and Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) rode on half centuries to make a triumphant start in the Women’s National Cricket Tournament under the first Lumbini National Championships on Thursday. 


Sita Rana Magar made 63 off 64 balls as APF cruised to a 110-run victory over Region No 1 (Biratnagar) at the Tribhuvan University Stadium, while Nary Thapa’s unbeaten 46-ball 52 saw Nepalgunj defeat Region No 2 (Birgunj) by seven wickets at the Sainik Awasiya Mahavidhyalaya grounds in Bhaktapur. 


In TU, Sita shared a 66-run stand for the second wicket with Jyoti Pandey (25) setting APF for a total of 185-6 in 40 overs match. Sita smashed nine boundaries in her innings and when she was dimissed Neha Karki in the 24th over, APF were looking in danger at 114-4. 


Sarita Magar pushed APF towards a respectable total with a 25-run stand for the fifth wicket with Ritu Kanoujiya (eight). Sarita remained unbeaten on 40 from 62 balls in an innings studded with five boundaries. 


Rubina Chhetri made 11 off 16, while skipper Neera Rajopadhyaya was seven not out. Sangita Rai, Sabnam Rai, Neha and Sanjana Budhathoki took one wicket each for Biratnagar, who in reply were dismissed for 75 runs in 28.4 overs. 


Sonu Khadka and Karuna Bhandari took three wickets apiece for APF, with Rubina and Sarita also taking two each.


Biratnagar were reeling at 23-5 within eight overs after four of their top five batswomen failed to open account. Rashmi Sharma and Sabina Shrestha tried to consolidate the innings with a 46-run sixth wicket stand until the dismissal of the former saw Biratnagar lose their last five wickets for just six runs. 


Rashmi made 32 off 64 with four boundaries and Sabina scored 22 off 53 with four hits to the fence. Six Biratnagar batswomen were removed for duck. 


In Bhaktapur, Birgunj were 97 all out in 28.4 overs before Nepalgunj reached 98-3 in just 16 overs. While Birgunj disappointed giving away 35 extras, Nary punished their bowlers clobbering 10 boundaries in her cameo.


There were no other double-digit run getters for Nepalgunj in their chase. Earlier, Rachana Aryal (14) and Rojina Aryal (15) were the only Birgunj batswomen to make runs in double figures. Saman Pun picked up three wickets in 4.4 overs and all round Nary and Tirshna Singh had two scalps apiece.

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