Siddhant Lohani cracked a super century as Region No 1 (Biratnagar) filed their second win in a row, while Antim Thapa played a skipper’s knock with a ton as Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) sit on a driving seat to reach the semi-finals from Group ‘B’ following their third consecutive victory in the Pepsi Standard Chartered One Day National Cricket Tournament on Sunday.
Nepal APF Club meanwhile registered their first win in two matches defeating Region No 6 (Baitadi) by five wickets at the Rangashala grounds in Pokhara. At the TU Stadium, Bhairahawa hammered Region No 7 (Janakpur) by 190 runs and maintained their top spot with six points from three matches. The previous edition’s runners-up are two ahead of Biratnagar but they have one match in hand.
Bhairahawa made 296-8 before their spinners single handedly bowled out Janakpur for 106 in 30.2 overs. Sushan Bhari Shrestha (4-18) and Lal Bahadur Adhikari (3-29) shared seven wickets between them with three run outs in Janakpur innings.
The only positive for Janakpur in the match was a 56-run stand between Chandan Jha and Hari Shankar Shah for the second wicket. Chandan made 39 off 74 with three boundaries and Hari Shankar hit four fours and a six in his run-a-ball 34.
After a trembling start, Antim put Bhairahawa in a strong position with two big partnerships. Man-of-the-match Antim shared 71 runs for the fifth wicket with Lal Bahadur (30) and 101 runs with Prakash KC. Antim was 100 not out with seven fours and three sixes and Prakash was dismissed after playing a 35-ball cameo of 50 that saw him hit 10 boundaries. Abhishek Jha took three wickets for Janakpur.
Biratnagar trounced Kathmandu by 180 for their second loss in the tournament. The three middle order batsmen delivered for Biratnagar who amassed a tournament-high 324-5. Mehboob Alam and Raj Kumar Pradhan took three wickets each as Kathmandu were 144 all out in 38.3 overs. Pushpa Thapa also picked up two wickets.
Pushpa signaled a consolidated innings from Biratnagar when he added 67 runs for the third wicket with Mehboob (29). After the dismissal of Mehboob, Siddhant and Puspa frustrated Kathmandu with another 103 run partnership.
Kathmandu were relieved when they sent back Puspa for 93 off 85 but more was yet to come from Siddhant. Pushpa hit 10 fours and two maximum. Siddhant added another 98 runs with Ankit Subedi (37 not out) and returned unbeaten with 106 not out from 99 balls. He hit 13 fours and three sixes.
In Pokhara, left arm spinner Bhuwan Karki returned with 6-14 from 10 overs that bundled out Baitadi for just 83 runs in 26 overs. APF had a disastrous start losing five wickets for just 28 runs but Dipendra Chaudhary and Bhuwan (13) came to the rescue sharing 59 runs as they reached 87-5 in 24.5. Dipendra made 42 off 66 with five fours and a six.