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Nepalgunj stun defending champions Janakpur

Region-V (Nepalgunj) stunned defending champions Region-VII (Janakpur) by 45 runs and Region-II (Birgunj) overcame Region-III (Kathmandu) by four wickets on the opening day of the Wai Wai U-19 Women’s U-19 National Cricket Tournament on Sunday.

Electing to bat first at the TU Stadium, Nepalgunj were bowled out for a low 99 in 24.4 overs but did extremely well restricting Janakpur to 54 in 15.1 overs. Nepalgunj were heading towards a humiliation at one stage reeling at 14-6 by the sixth over. However, a 76-run stand for the seventh wicket between Rekha BC and Sabitri Chhetri took them to a respectful position.

Rekha scored a match-high 41, while Sabitri made 48-ball 27. Rekha hit five fours in her 64-ball innings. Apart from Rekha and Sabitri, none of the other Nepalgunj players could make runs in double figures with five of their top six batswomen losing their wicket for duck. Rosi Kadari took three, while Mamta Chaudhary and Amrita Chaudhary claimed two wickets apiece for Janakpur.

Shanti Chaudhary (three) and Sanju Chaudhary (seven) replied with a 20-run stand for the second wicket but once the former lost her wicket, Janakpur batting collapsed. They lost their last nine wickets for just 34 runs after Saman Pun ran riot. Samana took 4-8, while Anu KC (2-14) and Dimple Khadka (2-9) were also amongst the wicket takers. Saraswoti Chaudhary (13) was the only Janakpur batswoman to make runs in double figures.

Earlier, Kathmandu were bowled out for 98 runs before Birgunj surpassed the total for the loss of six wickets in 21.2 overs.

Batting first, Kathmandu total was boosted by 35 extra runs from Birgunj that took them close to triple figures. Kanchan Shrestha (13) and Rabina Bhandari (12) were the only Kathmandu players to offer some resistance.

Sita Shrestha (3-10) and Puja Giri (3-13) struck at crucial moments for Birgunj. Puspa Aryal (2-9) and Nirmala Pakuwal (2-15) shared four wickets.

 Birgunj were also heading towards a huge loss when half of their team returned to the pavilion with just 33 runs on the board by the seventh over. But a 63-run sixth wicket stand between player-of-the-match Sita and skipper Nisha Giri (12) changed the complexion of the match.

Sita played a superb 45-run knock hitting seven boundaries in her 41-ball stay at the crease. Nisha was the last wicket to fall with Birgunj three runs away from victory. Shanti Khatiwada and Sajani Shrestha took two wickets each for Kathmandu. 

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