Former U-19 international Amit Shrestha anchored the ship as Region-II (Birgunj) bounced back from their eight-wicket defeat from Region-V (Nepalgunj) on Monday to overcome Region-VIII (Pokhara) in the Senior One Day National Cricket Tournament.
Pokhara rode on a half century from Bidhan Shrestha to make 223 all out in 47.5 overs before Amit led a perfectly reply leading Birgunj to 226-7 in 46.4 overs.
In chase of a modest total, Amit made sure that his team was not led down sharing a superb 116-run partnership with his opening partner Rabi Thapa. Man-of-the-match Amit was out for 66 off 71 after hitting 11 boundaries.
Birgunj soon lost Rabi for 47 off 65 with seven fours and a six but Hashim Ansari and Aanshu Kandoi (21) took the team close to victory. Ramnaresh Giri (13 not out) and Irshad Ahmed (seven) completed a successful chase for Birgunj. Hashim made a run-a-ball 36 with five hits to the fence. Sushil Kandel and Nischal Pandey picked up two wickets each for Birgunj.
Earlier, Pokhara needed Bidhan’s patient 78 off 102 balls to put a respectable total on the board. Bidhan shared 63 runs for the fifth wicket Santosh Upadhyaya (16) and 34 with Nischal before losing his wicket at 171. Bidhan hit 11 boundaries.
Nischal and Karan KC lifted Pokhara with a 41-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Nischal made 29 off 32 with three fours and a six, while Karan hit three sixes in his 24-ball 27. Ramanaresh was the pick of the Birgunj bowlers taking 4-43 from 9.5 overs.
Hashim and Kumar Thapa also had two scalps apiece for Birgunj. Shiv Subedi (18) and Aakash Thapa (16) were other Birgunj batsmen to score runs in double figures.