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Kathmandu finish Group ‘A’ winners

Region No 3 (Kathmandu) defeated Region No 2 (Birgunj) by two wickets to win Group ‘A’ of the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament at Birendra Sainik Awasiya Mahavidhyalaya grounds in Bhaktapur on Thursday. 


In a low-scoring match, Birgunj 125 all out in 37.2 overs following an early burst from Som Pal Kami. Birgunj did manage to pick up eight Kathmandu wickets but by then a late resistance made them safe finishing at 129-8. 


Kathmandu will now take on Group ‘B’ runners-up Region No 7 (Janakpur) and Birgunj will be up against a tough looking Group ‘B’ winners Region No 9 (Mahendranagar) in the semi-finals.In the match, Som Pal broke the backbone of Birgunj batting order getting ripping through the top order reducing them to 46-4 in 9.4 overs.


Amit Shrestha (21) was one of Som Pal’s wickets that shook Birgunj.Vikram Basnet and Anil Shah (21) tried to consolidate the innings but after Ashish Pokhrel got rid of the latter, Birgunj were torn apart. Ashish took other two wickets and Sharad Khadka removed Vikram to all but end Birgunj innings. 


Vikram top scored for Birgunj with 43 off 95 balls with seven boundaries. Man-of-the-match Som Pal finished with the figures of 5-30 and Sharad took 2-11 from five overs. Ahish also had miserly figures of 3-22 from 10 overs.


Kathmandu had a medicore start reaching 31-0 after 4.5 overs but went on to lose four wickets for 13 after Ram Naresh Giri took three wickets and Irshad Ahmed had one scalp. Som Pal took the team’s total to 71 and Irshad removed Pawan Shrestha (five) and Som Pal (17) lost his wicket to Ashib Poudel. 


Sharad and Arjun Adhikari (17) then took the team towards victory total adding 39 runs for the seventh wicket. Arjun top scored with 27 off 47 with three boundaries and when he was run out the scores were tied. Nabin Yadav (sxi) finished off the things with a boundary. Irshad and Ram Naresh took three wickets each.


In another Group ‘A’ match at the TU Stadium, Region 1 (Biratnagar) saw off Region No 6 (Baitadi) by 50 runs. Half centuries from opener Somesh Yadav and Siddhant Lohani saw Biratnagar pile a massive 273-9. Biratnagar restricted Baitadi to 223 all out in 46.5 overs but not before cancelling out a century partnership between Prem Tamang and Bikram Thalal. 


Baitadi were 34-3 and Prem combined with Bikram for a 128-run partnership. Firtosh Ansari broke partnership bowling Bikram for 43 off 62 that included four boundaries. Firtosh struck again removing Dilip Nath (duck) who had struck a century against Kathmandu and Biratnagar began to seize control of the match. 


Prem was the eighth batsman dismissed for 82 from 130 balls in an innings studded with eight boundaries. Firtosh and Puran Bishwakarma took three each for Biratnagar and Rohit Singh had two scalps. 


Earlier, Somesh shared 45 runs for the first wicket with Dipendra Magar (eight) and laid foundation for a huge total adding 74 runs with Firtosh (28). Bhuwan Mache contributed another 31 as Biratnagar reached 179-5.Siddhant then shared 67-run partnership with Mobin Ali as Biratanagar gained an upper hand in the match.


Siddhant smashed 55 off 32 hitting nine boundaries, while Mobin was the last man out for 31 off 45. Prem Tamang, Basanta Khatri and Jagdish Chand took two wickets each for Baitadi. 


In a Group ‘B’ match, Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) signed off with a victory with a 149-run humbling off Region No 4 (Bhairahawa). Nepalgunj were 265 all out in 48 overs and stopped Bhairahawa at 116 all out in 35.5 overs. 


After losing Nurdhoj Sen and Bijay Sunar for a duck, Nirmal Thapa and Prakash KC tried to rebuild Bhairahawa innings but after the latter was retired hurt, they lost their momentum. Nirmal top scored with 34 runs from 54 balls hitting five boundaries.


Aakash Bista, Anup Neupane and Hasan Khan took two wickets each for Nepalgunj.Nepalgunj were indebted to three crucial partnerships their opener Wasim Halwai was invovled in. Wasim added 74 runs for the second with Bhupendra Thapa, 50 with Shahid Ansari (21) and 53 with Amar Singh Rautela.


Wasim made 55 off 98 with seven fours, Bhupendra made a run-a-ball 49 with nine fours and Amar Singh took the team to a formidable total hitting 56 off 43 with eight hits to the fence. Dipendra Yadav took three wickets for Bhairahawa, while Susan Bhari and Mahesh Mishra had two scalp apiece.

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