Region 1 Biratnagar claimed the title of the Wai Wai Women’s U-19 National Cricket Tournament with a two-wicket victory over Region 5 Bhairahawa at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on Monday.
A strong batting line-up of Bhairhawa collapsed for 63 in 18.1 overs in the final that was reduced to 20 overs due to rain. Bhairahawa did bowl well with a low total to defend picking up eight wickets but conceded 21 extra runs that helped Biratnagar reach the required 64 in 13.4 overs.
It was Biratnagar’s first ever title in the women’s national cricket. Biratnagar coach Biru Shrestha was all praise of the hard work from his players.
“We had lost against them (Bhairahawa) in the group stage owing to our own mistakes. Our girls made sure that we won’t repeat those mistakes today and everyone played their role in a matured way,” said Shrestha.
“This is an experienced team that has not played cricket much. We came here after playing cricket for just three weeks and I am happy that we managed to win the title,” added the coach.
Biratnagar were stunned early in their chase when Saiyya Gurung trapped their reliable opener Kajol Shrestha with just two runs on the board in the second over. Rosana Rai (11) and Sangita tried to consolidate the innings with a 25-run partnership for the second wicket.
Soniya took a return catch of Rosana that opened the floodgates for Bhairahawa. Biratnagar kept losing wickets in regular intervals but Bhairahawa bowlers gifted them with extras easing their chase. Sangita made a 31-ball 15 with one boundary for Biratnagar and Roma Thapa was unbeaten on seven.
Soniya finished with the figures of 3-17 from four overs, while Indu Barma and Saiyya took two wickets apiece.
Bhairahawa coach Basanta Shahi blamed his erratic bowlers for the loss. “We can’t expect to win a match if we concede 21 extras inside 14 overs when he have a low total to defend. We came here having a strong batting line up but that completely flopped today. The shot selection that my girls went for was really disgraceful,” said Shahi.
Pratikshya Basyal and Barsha Rana (seven) gave Bhairahawa a modest start adding 26 runs inside eight overs. Sapana Shrestha then bowled Barsha and after Sangita ran Ritu Bhandari out Bhairahawa were reduced to 27-2.
Indu Berma (four) and Pratikshya steadied the innings adding 17 runs for the third wicket but once Sangita got rid of the former, a collapse struck Bhairahawa. Only Pratikshya managed to put double digits in Bhairahawa batting card making 32 from 49 balls hitting three boundaries.
Player-of-the-match Sangita returned with the figures of 4-12 from four overs. Sabnam Rai, Samjhana Budhathoki and Yanji Sherpa also had one scalp apiece for Biratnagar. Samjhana was adjudged the player-of-the-series for her 81 runs and six wickets during the tournament.
Biratnagar received Rs 25,000 and Bhairahawa got Rs 15,000. Samjhana took a cheque of Rs 10,000, while other best individuals got Rs 5,000 apiece. Soniya was adjudged the best bowler for picking up eight wickets fromthree matches and Kajol took the best batswoman honour for making102 runs in three innings.