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Kathmandu to play Birgunj in U-19 final

In a run-feast day, Region No 3 (Kathmandu) and Region No 2 (Birgunj) set the titl clash of the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament on Friday.


Kathmandu skipper Bibhatsu Thapa was the front runner among the run-getters when his fine 119 helped Kathmandu hammer Region No 7 (Janakpur) by 99 runs at the Pulchowk Engineering College grounds. Birgunj, meanwhile, had no trouble in their six-wicket vicory over Region No 9 (Mahendranagar) at the Tribhuvan University Stadium.


Two big partnerships involving Bibhatsu saw Kathmandu amass a tournament-high 295-6 before Janakpur managed only 196-9. Tailenders saved Janakpur blushed after they lost eight wickets for just 95 runs after Som Pal Kami picked up four wickets and Sharad Khadka along with Prakash Bista ‘A’ had two scalps apiece. 


Paras Khatri and Kailash Mandal made Kathmandu to wait for the victory with a 60-run stand for the ninth wicket. Paras made 29 off 46 with three fours and a six. Kailash then shared 41-run unbeaten stand with Gopal Singh (17 not out). 


Kailash remained unbeaten on 41 from 78 deliveries that included six hits to the fence. From the middle order, skipper Rahul Pratap Singh made 28 off 70 with two fours.


Kathmandu had a shaky start with scores reading 29-2 and after that it was all Bibhatsu who shared 94-run stand for the third wicket with Pawan Shrestha (20) and a match winning 130 runs with Som Pal before falling prey to Gopal Singh.Bibhatsu made 116 off 139 hitting 14 boundaries and a six.


Som Pal smashed 68 off 54 with seven boundaries and a six. Gopal Singh was the pick of the Janakpur bowlers with 5-51 from 10 overs.Mahendranagar were folded for 232 in 49.5 overs and steady partnerships took Birgunj to 233-4 in 47 overs.


Anil Shah (one) fell early but Amit Shrestha and Suraj Prasad Kurmi combined for a 74-run stand. Amit made 62 off 53 balls with 11 boundaries.


After the fall of Amit, Suraj added 60 runs with Sumit Kadmiya before both set batsmen were dismissed in a space of 14 runs making 37 each. Ram Naresh Giri and Arif Sheikh (27) completed a successful chase with a magnificent 75-run unbroken stand for the fifth wicket. 


Ram Naresh made 50 off 35 with nine fours. Earlier, Sunil Damal and Tekendra Mal (28) collected 64 runs after Mahendranagar lost Dipendra Chand (one) early. Sunil was out for 49 off 79 after striking eight boundaries. 


Bhim Sarki then guided Mahendranagar to a decent total with an 80 off 88 with six fours and a six. Arif took three wickets for Birgunj and Ram Naresh snapped two. The final match is  on Saturday.

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