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Siddhant does wonders in Biratnagar victory

Siddhant Lohani did wonders coming back after being retired hurt smashing a 25-ball 67 as Region-I (Biratnagar) dispatched Region-VIII (Pokhara) by 174 runs in the Senior One Day National Cricket Tournament at the TU Stadium on Wednesday.


Siddhant, a former U-19 international, lifted Biratnagar to 264-8 in 50 overs before Pokhara were 90 all out in just 29.5 overs. Lalit Rajbanshi took 4-30, making impact in Pokhara middle order, to paralyse the opponents.


Pokhara lost opener Satosh Bhattarai (duck) early in the fourth ball to Mehboob Alam before Aakash Thapa and Rijan Prajoo (12) tried to keep them in the match with a 54-run second wicket stand. But after Lalit removed Aakash in the 12th over, Pokhara lost their last nine wickets for just 36 runs.


Aakash top scored with 46 off 39 with seven boundaries and a six, while Sushil Kandel (10) was their next best batsman. Mohammad Hazrat Ali and Lakpa Lama also picked up two wickets each for Biratnagar.


Earlier, Biratnagar were 48-2 in 11.2 overs losing opener Sunny Pun (17) and Puspa Thapa (seven). Mehboob Alam and Ravi Roy then shared 82 runs for the third wicket to bring Biratnagar back in the match.


Mehboob was in his usual touch scoring 48 off 50 with four fours and two sixes, while Roy made a painstaking 35 off 100 with four fours and a six. After the dismissal of both set batsmen, Siddhant stepped in but was forced to retire hurt. Manjeet Shrestha carried the baton for Biratnagar making 30 off 46 with three boundaries.


When Manjeet was bowled by Nischal Pandey, Biratnagar were not in the position to relax at 180-7 in 43 overs before Siddhant came into the crease and played a beautiful innings that left Pokhara clueless.


He clobbered six sixes and six boundaries with some unorthodox shots completing his half century in just 19 balls. Siddhant shared 80 runs for the eighth wicket with Lakpa Lama (17) and lost his wicket to Dipesh Shrestha.


Dipesh took 3-43 from nine overs and Sushil Kandel picked up 2-19 from 10 overs for Pokhara.

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