Heavy rain wreaked havoc but helped Region No 6 (Baitadi) and Region No 1 (Biratnagar) enter the semi-finals of the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament on Saturday.
Baitadi, scheduled to play against Region No 2 (Birgunj), didn’t have to drop a sweat after their match at the Pulchowk Engineering College grounds first took toll from poor ground conditions before rain lashed out.
All six teams who were scheduled to play on Saturday had to share points. The results meant Birgunj and Region No 9 (Dhangadhi) crashed out from the group stage.
Baitadi sailed into the last four as Group ‘B’ winners followed by Biratnagar who made through to the expense of Region No 5 (Nepalgunj). Baitadi, Biratnagar and Nepalgunj all had four points on the standings and the first two teams had superior run rate.
In a must win match at the Sainik Awasiya Mahavidhyalaya grounds, Biratnagar were 159-8 in 47.2 overs before heavy downpour interrupted the game. Niraj Mukhiya (35), Avinash Karn (31) and Ankit Subedi (21) were the leading scorers for Biratnagar.
Aakash Bista (3-32) and Abhinash Bohora (3-34) were the star performers for Nepalgunj.
In Group ‘A’, the match between Region No 3 (Kathmandu) and Region No 8 (Pokhara) at the TU Stadium also ended with the same fate, the rain mostly hurting the latter.
Pokhara bowlers delivered a perfect display restricting Kathmandu to 86-8 in 32.1 overs with Sushil Kandel picking up 4-11 from nine overs. The rain, however, had other ideas. Aashish Dhami was the leading scorer for Kathmandu with 36 off 58 with five boundaries.