Region-II (Birgunj) qualified for the semi-finals of the Senior One Day National Cricket Tournament but succumbed to a brilliant fight back from Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) in their final league match at the Pulchowk Engineering College grounds on Monday.
Birgunj, who were tied on six points with Region-V (Nepalgunj), before the match needed not to lose the match by a margin of above 150 runs which they did but got humiliated with a 145-run crushing.
Anil Mandal was the major tormentor for Birgunj who rescued the Armymen from a precarious position of 131-8 to help pile a challenging 262-9 in 50 overs.
Bikram Sov lifted Armymen after Anil’s consolidation who not only smashed Birgunj bowlers at the end of the innings completing a half century but also picked up four crucial wickets to bundle out the opponents for just 117 runs in 26.2 overs.
Amit Shrestha showed some grit from the top order making 36 off 45 with eight boundaries before Bikram bowled him. Anil Sah made a run-a-ball 43 with seven fours and a six. Bikram then derailed Birgunj’s middle order with three more wickets, while Rahul Kumar BK did the rest picking up four wickets.
Earlier, TAC were left tottering having lost their eight wickets inside 34 overs with only Anil gluing to the crease as an specialist batsman with a half century. He then forged a 79-run partnership with Bikram taking TAC across 200-run mark.
On his way to making second century of the tournament and third century in the Nationals, Anil made 113 off 146 with 10 boundaries. He completed his half century in 99 balls before taking just 37 more balls to reach the triple figures.
Anil’s departure, however, was not the end of TAC innings as Bikram began his onslaught in a 52-run stand with Avinash Karn (11 not out). Bikram smashed 53 not out from 43 balls with seven fours and two sixes.
Ramnaresh Giri, Yashin Hawari and Irshad Ahmed picked up two wickets each for Birgunj.