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Quick fire Bhandari lifts Pentagon in opener

A quick fire half century from national team cricketer Binod Bhandari spurred defending champions Pentagon International College of Kathmandu to a five-wicket victory over Mahendra Namuna Higher Secondary School of Dadeldhura in the opening day encounter of the Hotel Devotee SPA Cup Inter-college National Cricket Tournament on Friday.


Electing to bat first, Mahendra Namuna made a precarious 124 all out in 18.5 overs against a star-studded Pentagon side after their middle and lower middle order couldn’t capitalise on the start provided by top middle order. Bhandari then smashed a 31-ball 53 that lifted Pentagon to 126-5 with 33 balls still remaining in the game.


Sagar Pun smashed a 13-ball 21 with five boundaries but lost his wicket when Pentagon had 25 runs on the board. Bhandari began his onslaught and added 78 runs for the second wicket with Naresh Budhayer that put Pentagon close to victory.


Budhayer was dismissed for a 26-ball 29 with five boundaries in 10.5 overs with Pentagon just 22 runs away from the victory. Bhandari reached 53 off 31 with five boundaries. Puspa Thapa (10 not out) and Nischal Pandey (four) completed the chase for Pentagon.


Dipesh Shrestha, Dikshyanshu Negi and Santosh Bhatta picked up one wicket each for Mahendra Namuna.


Earlier, Mahendra Namuna were 25-2 before Roshan Nepali and Bikram Thalal rebuilt the innings. The two batsmen added 50 runs for the third wicket where the former was particularly aggressive. Nepali hammered 44 off 28 with five fours and three sixes.


However, Bhandari’s dismissal off Pun turned the match around as Mahendra Namuna began losing wickets at regular intervals. Left arm spinner Rahul Kumar BK paralysed the middle and lower order picking up 4-11 from 3.5 overs.


Thalal made 24 off 27 with two boundaries and a six. Chandra Saud also picked up three wickets for Pentagon. On Saturday, Xavier International College of Kathmandu will meet Sunrise HS School of Kanchanpur and New Horizon College of Butwal will play Kailali Multiple Campus of Dhangadhi.

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