Region-VII (Janakpur) recovered brilliantly from their opening day loss to enter the semi-finals of the Wai Wai Women’s U-19 National Cricket Tournament, while Region-V (Nepalgunj) pipped Region-II (Birgunj) to go through despite losing their last league game on Tuesday.
In their crucial Group ‘A’ match, defending champions Janakpur made short work of Birgunj with an eight-wicket victory after an allround performance from Shanti Chaudhary took them in the last four. Janakpur were shocked by Nepalgunj in the tournament opener on Sunday but they went on to top group with four points from three matches.
Nepalgunj were the major casualty in the Super Over thriller against Region-III (Kathmandu) who had already crashed out of the tournament. Nepalgunj still managed to reach the last four edging Birgunj on run rate after both teams were tied on three points each. Kathmandu signed off from the tournaments with two points following Tuesday’s victory.
Janakpur needed to win today’s match and they were spot on after restricting Birgunj to 72-9 in 25 overs. The champions then finished at 73-2 with 47 balls to spare. Player-of-the-match Shanti shaped Janakpur’s victory adding 28 runs for the first wicket with Sanju Chaudhary (four). Sanju handed a return catch to Sita Shrestha in the seventh over.
Shanti took Janakpur to 50-run mark with another 22-run partnership with Usha Bhujel and when she was run out, her team was just 23 runs shy of the target. Shanti made a 44-ball 19 hitting one boundary. Usha and Mamta Chaudhary completed the job after Shanti’s dismissal. Usha made 13 off 29 with one boundary and Mamta made 12 off 13.
Earlier, only Rachan Aryal managed to put some fight against Janakpur bowling that gave away 26 extra runs to Birgunj. They were evenly placed at 46-2 with 11 overs still left but failed to build any momentum with Shanti and Mamta sharing five wickets between them conceding just 12 runs in their collective 12 overs.
Shanti took 3-6 from five overs, while Mamta had 2-6 from her full quota. Rachana Aryal made 17 runs, while others failed to make runs in double figures. The best Birgunj did in the match was a 28-run third wicket stand between Rachana and Mamata Chaulagain (seven). Kritu Dahal also picked up two wickets for Janakpur.
Later, Nepalgunj made 108-6 and Kathmandu finished exactly at 108 losing eight wickets. With one-over eliminator on, Kathmandu made 11-0 and restricted Nepalgunj to 5-0 to sign off from the tournament with a victory.
Nepalgunj were reduced to 14-4 before a 64-run partnership between Saya Basnet and Rekha BC lifted them to a challenging total. Saya made 43 off 58, while Rekha scored 33 off 45. Both hit three boundaries each. Shanti Khatiwada took two wickets for Kathmandu.
Kathmandu had an identical start reeling at 5-3 in 3.2 overs but player-of-the-match Rabina Bhadari and Sangita Gauchan brought them back adding 62 runs for the fourth wicket. Rabina made a run-a-ball 40 with five hits to the fence. Sangita added another 18 runs with Sajani Shrestha (eight) to take her team close to the target. Sangita was 29 not out off 63 balls.