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Biratnagar turn around fortune to top group

Defending champions Region No 1 (Biratnagar) capped a remarkable comeback in the Wai Wai U-19 Women’s National Cricket Tournament finishing Group ‘A’ winners after defeating Region No 8 (Pokhara) by 79 runs at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on Wednesday.


Biratnagar had lost their opening match to Region No 7 (Janakpur) in the tournament opener but they bounced back with back-to-back victories and made it through as group winners edging Janakpur and Region No 3 (Kathmandu) on net run rate.


Biratnagar’s progress into the knockouts was benefitted by Janakpur’s shocking eight-wicket loss to Kathmandu in the other match of the day. But despite the loss, Janakpur followed Biratnagar as runners-up at the expense of Kathmandu.


Biratnagar recorded tournament’s second biggest team total of 157-7 riding on a half century from opener Kajol Shrestha. Bowlers did the rest as Pokhara were bundled out for just 78-8 in 20 overs.


Ankita Rai picked up two wickets for Pokhara, while Sangita Rai, Sabnam Rai, Mamta Pandey and Sujata Chhetri also picked up a wicket each. Sushil Gurung (25) and Pragya Pokhrel (14) were the only Pokhara batswomen to make runs in double figures.


Earlier, Biratnagar got off to a rollicking start when Kajol added 60 runs for the first wicket with Sangita Rai in 7.5 overs. Pragya Pokhrel then picked up two wickets reducing Biratnagar to 87-2. Sangita was first to go for 30 off 19 with five boundaries followed by the dismissal of Gita Prasai (six).


Kajol then shared 43 runs for the third wicket with Sanjana Budhathoki and guided Biratnagar across 150-run mark making 51 off 64 with three boundaries. Sanjana scored 20 off 14 with two fours.


Roma Thapa also made 11 runs for Biratnagar. Arya Aryal and Prabha Nepali picked up a wicket each for winless Pokhara who gave away 37 extras to bolster Biratnagar total.

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