Region-VII (Janakpur) entered the finals of the Women’s National defeating a below-par Region-VI (Baitadi) by three wickets in the semi-finals at the Tribhuvan University Stadium grounds on Thursday.
Saraswati Chaudhary was at the centre of Janakpur victory who picked up two crucial wickets and returned with the bat making an unbeaten 27 at an important stage to sail Janakpur home. Janakpur will now meet the winners of Friday’s second semi-final match between Nepal APF Club and Region-V (Nepalgunj) on Saturday.
After heavy overnight rain, the match was reduced to 35-overs-a-side with Baitadi erring in chosing to bat first after winning the toss. Baitadi were skittled out for just 89 with three balls to spare before Janakpur overcame a middle order wobble to reach 90-7 in 27.5 overs.
Janakpur began steadily with a 23-run opening wicket partnership from Sobha Ale and Anuradha Chaudhary (eight). But they lost their first five wickets for just 19 runs after the stand once Rekha Rawal removed Anuradha.
Shanti Chaudhary (one), Mamta Chaudhary (six), Kabita Gautam (naught) and Urmila Chaudhary (duck) fell cheaply as Janakpur were reduced to 42-5 in 13 overs. Rekha Rawal was the chief destroyer picking up three wickets.
Saraswatik, however, held firm and along with opener Sobha shared 35-run crucial stand to the delight of Janakpur. Sobha posted a match-high 32 off 70 and when she was dismissed, Janakpur were just 13 shy of victory. Saraswati did the rest making 27 not out from 49 balls. Both Janakpur leading scorers hit two fours apiece.
Rekha was the pick of the Baitadi bowlers taking 3-20 from seven overs. Aasha Saki and Anjali Chand had one scalp apiece.
Baitadi were struggled under difficult conditions once Saraswati dismissed opener Dropati Kunwar early in the innings. Kabita Kunwar top scored with 22 off 49 with three boundaries and opener Manju Bokati was next best scorer with 16 off 54 hitting two boundaries.
Anjali scored 15 off 30 with one boundary. Mamta picked up 3-15 from 5.3 overs, while Saraswati and Santoshi Chaudhary had two scalps apiece.