Region No 9 (Mahendranagar) and Region No 7 (Janakpur) sailed into the semi-finals of the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament on Tuesday. Region No 3 (Kathmandu), meanwhile, upstaged a sensational century from Dilip Nath to register their second consecutive victory in the tournament.
Mahendranagar crushed Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) by 189 runs at Pulchowk Engineering College grounds following a solid resistance from their skipper Bhuwan Karki and Dipendra Airee. The win also sent Janakpur in the semi-final though they were not playing on Tuesday.
Mahendranagar and Janakpur both have six points each from maximum three matches and no other teams in Group ‘B’ can surpass them now. Bhairahawa have two points with one match to play, while Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) and Region-VIII (Pokhara) are yet to open their account.
Bhairahawa were sniffing a low total after reducing Mahendranagar to 68-6 at one stage but a defiant 172-run unbeaten partnership from Bhuwan and Dipendra took them to modest 240-6. Lalit Bhandari and Sunil Damal then combined to take all 10 wickets as Bhairahawa were 58 all out in 18.5 overs.
The two bowlers ran riot over Bhairahawa striking regularly. Man-of-the-match Lalit took 6-26 from 9.5 overs and Sunil returned with the figures of 4-12 from six overs. Rupesh Bastola (19) was the only Bhairahawa batsman to make runs in double figures. Six Bhairahawa batsmen failed to open account.
Earlier, Bhuwan and Dipendra played sensibly to rescue Mahendranagar after more than half of their batsmen headed back to the pavilion in 21.1 overs. Bhuwan completed his half century in 69 balls and went on to make 84 off 106 with nine boundaries.
Dipendra – who completed 50 runs in 73 balls – made 69 off 85 with six hits to the fence. Dipendra Yadav and Sushan Bhari took two wickets each for Bhairahawa, while Devendra Somare and Man Bahadur Thapa took one each.
At the TU Stadium, Kathmandu overcame Region No 6 (Baitadi) by 69 runs to reach the top of Group ‘A’ with four points from two matches. A patient innings from opener Ashish Dhami who was involved in three big partnerships gave Kathmandu a massive total of 285-9.
Baitadi at 216 all out in 35.2 overs a heartbreak for Dilip who hammered 123 runs from 84 balls with 15 boundaries and five sixes but still was not enough. Dilip added 40 runs with Prem Tamang (27) and at 92-6, brought back Baitadi in the match with another 56-run stand with Basanta Khatri (11). But he ran out of partner and Baitadi were ultimately folded out with just little than 15 overs to spare.
Som Pal Kami took 4-30 for Kathmandu and Prakash Bista ‘B’ also took two wickets. Earlier, Kathmandu innings was built around Ashish who gave his team a perfect start with a 68-run partnership with Prakash Bista ‘A’.
Prakash hit 46-ball 52 with six boundaries and two sixes. Ashish further solidified Kathmandu with a 106-run partnership with captain Bibhatsu Thapa. Bibhatsu made 43 off 50 that included five boundaries.
Suraj Budal three wickets reduced Kathmandu to 207-6 but Ashish compounded more misery on Baitadi collecting 62 runs with Arjun Adhikari. Arjun made 36 off 48 hitting four boundaries and a six. Ashish made 93 off 135 in an innings studded with 11 boundaries. Basanta Khatri also took three wickets for Baitadi.