Region No 6 (Baitadi) set the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament clash with Region No 8 (Pokhara) after they bounced back remarkably to defeat Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) by 34 runs in a low-scoring semi-final at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on Wednesday.
Bhairhawa bowlers did great to bundle out Baitadi for just 139 runs in 29.3 overs but their batsmen fell prey to a fine bowling display from Naresh Thapa to get bundled out for just 105 runs in 28.1 overs. The final is on Thursday at the same venue.
Naresh was the performer of the day who wreaked havoc in the Bhairahawa middle order after a 47-run stand between Shankar Rana and Sandeep Sunar (16). Arun Airee dismissed Sunar and after that Baitadi’s struggle in the game began.
Rana made 49 off 59 with eight fours before losing his wicket to Kamal Airee. Despite the dismissal of two set batsmen Bhairahawa were still in the hunt requiring just 68 runs with seven wickets and plenty of overs remaining. But Naresh struck at regular intervals as Baitadi lost their last seven wickets for just 19 runs.
Saurav Khanal (14) and Kushal Bhurtel (11) were the only remaining Bhairahawa batsmen to make runs in double figures. Man-of-the-match Naresh returned with the figures of 4-18 from six overs. Skipper Prem Tamang (2-21) and Arun Airee (2-24) shared four wickets between them.
Baitadi were 25-2 after losing openers Bikesh Bam (six) and Aayushman Bam (five) but Arun and Dilip Nath shared a 49-run stand that brought them back in the match. But after Arun’s dismissal, Baitadi lost their way.
Arun made 25 off 47 with one six and his dismissal was followed by that of Dilip who scored 26 off 44 with two boundaries. Kamal’s run-a-ball 20 lifted Baitadi beyond tirple figures. He hit a six and a four. Bishal Sunar picked up three wickets for Bhairahawa with Saurav Khanal and Rahul Bhattarai also snapping up two each.
Second semi-final Summary
Baitadi: 139 all out in 29.3 (Dilip Nath 26, Arun Airee 25)
(Bishal Sunar 3-15, Rahul Bhattarai 2-26, Saurav Khanal 2-22)
Bhairahawa: 105 all out in 28.1 (Shankar Rana 49, Sandeep Sunar 16)
(Naresh Thapa 4-18, Arun Airee 2-24, Prem Tamang 2-21)