Skipper Prem Tamang’s five-for spurred Region No 6 (Baitadi) to a stunning three-wicket victory over Region No 1 (Biratnagar) in the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament on Thursday.
At the Tribhuvan University Stadium grounds, spinner Prem took the new ball tightening the screws from the word go as Biratnagar were bundled out for just 94 in 30 overs. Baitadi were precariously placed at 52-7 in 20.5 overs but in-form Yogendra Karki once again joined the act taking the team to 95-7 in 38 overs.
Baitadi now join Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) with four points in Group ‘B’ but stay second on inferior net run rate and having played three matches. Nepalgunj have played a game less. Biratnagar have two points.
Some hostile bowling from Kalicharan Yadav left Baitadi clues as more than half of their batsmen headed back to the pavilion just after the 50-run mark. Yogendra, however, continued his impressive form and shared an unbeaten 43-run stand for the eighth wicket with Kamal Airee.
Yogendra finished on 35 not out from 79 balls with one boundary, while Kamal was unbeaten on 20 off 56 in an innings that included two hits to the fence. Kalicharan finished with the figures of 4-23 from 10 overs, while Rahul Mishra, Minas Thapa and Mukhunda Yadav took one wicket each.
Biratnagar innings was derailed by Prem who struck in the first ball of the day removing opener Khsitiz Portel. Another opener Niraj Mukhiya and Ankit Subedi shared 35 runs for the second wicket before Naresh Thapa dismissed the former.
Niraj made 19 off 30 with two fours. Arun Airee removed Avinash Karn (one), the half centurion in Biratnagar’s first match against Region No 9 (Dhangadhi), early.
Ankit and Mukunda Yadav (14) offered some resistance sharing 27 runs but Prem gave the breakthrough with the scalp of latter. Arun ably supported his skipper dismissing Rimesh Regmi and any hopes of Biratnagar ended when Prem bowled Ankit leaving them at 77-6 in 22.5 overs.
Ankit made 31 off 61 with three boundaries. Yogendra and Prem polished off the tail with two wickets each after the fall of Ankit.Prem won his second consecutive man-of-the-match award returning with the envious figures of 5-28 in 10 overs.