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Nepalgunj cruise to semi-finals

Region No-V (Nepalgunj) defeated Region No-III (Kathmandu) by three wickets to enter the semi-finals of the Women’s National Cricket Tournament at the Pulchowk Engineering College grounds on Wednesday.


With Kathmandu and Region No-I (Biratnagar) also in the hunt for the last available semi-final spot, Nepalgunj victory shut down chances for both teams. Biratnagar crushed Region No-IX (Dhangadhi) by eight wickets in their final group stage match at the TU grounds but the victory was not enough to take them through.


Nepalgunj followed Group ‘B’ winners Janakpur in the last four and will now meet defending champions and Group ‘A’ champions Nepal APF Club. Janakpur will take on Group ‘A’ runners-up Region No-VI (Baitadi) in the semi-finals.


In Pulchowk, Kathmandu made 141 all out in 39.1 overs before a fine half century from Sanju Chaudhary guided Nepalgunj to 145-7 in 30.1 overs. Nepalgunj were battling at 38-3 before Sanju brought their chase on track with a 75-run partnership with Samjhana Sharma.


Both set batswomen lost their wickets in a space of four runs but their lower middle order held firm to take the team across the finishing line. Sanju struck 51 off 43 with six boundaries and Samjhana made 27 off 36 with five fours. Yangji Sherpa took two wickets for Kathmandu.


Earlier, Kathmandu didn’t have big contributors but still reached close to 150. Rabina Bhandari top scored for them with 31 off 50 hitting five boundaries, while Kamala Rai made 24 off 41 with three fours.


Kanchan Shrestha and Sajani Shrestha also chipped in 21 runs each with Ashmin Karmacharya making a run-a-ball 16. Samjhana, Trishna Singh and Gita Gosai picked up two wickets each for Nepalgun.


In Kirtipur, Dhangadhi were 139 all out in 7.3 overs. After a rain intervention, Biratnagar were provided with a revised target of 125 from 34 overs  which they reached with an ease making 127-2 in 22.2.


After a 33-run start provided by Kajol Shrestha (12) and Roma Thapa, Sangita Rai stepped in two slam an unbeaten half century to lead a strong Biratnagar reply. Sangita shared 44 runs for the second with Roma who was out for 23 off 34.


The No 3 batswomen then added an unbeaten 50 with Rashmi Sharma as Biratnagar sailed home easily. Sangita made 53 off 52 with six boundaries. Player of the match Sangita was the star performer of the day picking up 3-24 from eight overs. Bimala Bhatt top scored for Dhangadhi making 31 off 73 with two boundaries.

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