Opener Sunny Pun smashed a superb century as Region No 1 (Biratnagar) continued their dominating performance to enter the semi-finals of the Pepsi Standard Chartered One Day National Cricket Tournament defeating Region No 7 (Janakpur) by 166 runs on Thursday.
It was Biratnagar’s fourth consecutive victory going level with Region-IV (Bhairahawa) who have already finished their league campaign. Another victory in their final league stage match will take Biratnagar into the semi-finals as Group winners.
Biratnagar victory also knocked Region No 9 (Dhangadhi) and Region No 3 (Kathmandu), who have four points and are left to play one league match each, out of the tournament.
Biratnagar innings revolved around Sunny who was involved in three big partnerships allowing Mehboob Alam and Siddhant Lohani to give a launchpad in the end as the team reached 304-5 in 50 overs – the second highest total of the tournament with he first one also set by them. An all round bowling performance then saw Janakpur bundled out for 138 in 44.3 overs.
No 8 batsman Chandan Jha was the only notable scorer for Janakpur making 37 off 45 with four boundaries, while Raj Mohammand made 23. Saurav Nagbanshi (18) and Chandan Jha (16) were the remaining batsmen to make runs in double figures.
Raj Kumar Pradhan took 2-18 from 10 overs, while Pushpa Thapa and Siddhant also picked up two wickes each. Mehboob had one scalp. Sunny earlier gave Biratnagar a perfect start with a 73-run stand for the first wicket with Amit Shrestha (16) in 10.3 overs. Sunny added another 54 runs with Puspa (26) before the killers blow to Janakpur came after Mehboob joined the crease.
Sunny and Mehboob collected 95 runs for the third wicket before Sunny headed back to the pavilion for 104 off 119 balls hitting 14 boundaries. Mehboob added another 47 runs with Siddhant and fell to Hari Shankar Sah scoring 77 off 83 with eight boundaries and a six. Siddhant scored 38 off 26 with five fours and along with Bidhan Goswami (15) collected 35 runs off the last 21 balls. Hari Shankar took two wickets for Biratnagar. Sunny was the man-of-the-match.