Region No 7 (Janakpur) filed a thrilling one-wicket victory over Region No 8 (Pokhara) in the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament opener at the Pulchowk Engineering grounds on Friday.
Abhishek Jha picked up four wickets as Janakpur squeezed out Pokhara for a precarious total of 141 all out in 36.4 overs. Pokhara, however, gave a tough fight to Janakpur reducing them to 133-8 at one stage before tail-ender Kailash Mandal took them to 142-9 in 37.4 overs.
Hari Shankar Shah and Sanjeet Pandey (one) gave a quick reply collecting 26 runs in 3.2 overs until two quick wickets from Sushil Kandel and one each from Dipesh Shrestha and Nishcal Pandey jolted Janakpur at 49-4 in 12.4 overs. Hari Shankar made 18 off 21 with two boundaries and a six.
Ansaj Upadhyaya (21) and Rahul Pratap Singh anchored the ship with a 40-run stand for the fifth wicket before Sushil got rid of the former. Rahul Pratap added another 28 with Sameer Nepal (14) taking Janakpur close to victory total but the struggled began after Shiva Shrestha dismissed Rahul Pratap with the team’s total reading 117-6 in the 32nd over.
Jankapur then lost two more wickets in a space of 12 runs only for No 9 Kailash to step in and hit the winning runs to remain unbeaten on nine off 13 with a boundary1. Man-of-the-match Rahul Pratap made 38 off 59 hitting seven boundaries.
Sushil was the most envious bowler conceding just 17 runs in his 10-over spell picking up two wickets. Shiva Shrestha also picked up three wickets.
Earlier, Pokhara failed to make the most of a 44-run stand from openers Santosh Bhattarai and Manjoj Koirala in 10.3 overs. Two wickets from Rahul Pratap and one from Abhishek reduced Pokhara to 49-3.
Manoj made 21 off 30 with three fours. Santosh was still there but at 61 Pokhara lost him and with Gopal Singh getting two wickets in two balls, they were reeling at 75-6 in 20 overs. Santosh made a painstaking 16 off 60 with two fours.
Dhurba Karki and Sushil (eight) helped Pokhara reach close to 150-run mark with a 36-run stand but a leg before wicket of the latter from Hari Shankar ended the partnership. Pokhara fight all but ended after Dhurba was out for 47. Dhurba clobbered five boundaries in 60 deliveries. Abhishek returned with 4-28 from 10 overs.