Unknown Heman Rai starred with a seven-wicket haul as Region No 1 (Biratnagar) edged Region No 2 (Birgunj) by 10 runs in the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament at the Sainik Awasiya Mahavidhyalaya grounds in Bhaktapur on Friday.
Biratangar were bundled out for 88 runs in 37.5 overs with Ankit Subedi scoring more than half of the team total. Birgunj suffered a terrible middle order collapse losing five wickets without adding a single run after Heman wreaked havoc. Aasif Sheikh and Rashid Khan led a brief battle in the middle but Heman continued his onslaught as Birgunj were 78 all out in 28 overs.
The win lifted Biratnagar to the second spot with four points after Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) crashed to shocking defeat at the hands of Region No 9 (Dhangadhi). Region No 6 (Baitadi), Biratnagar and Nepalgunj are equal on points but Baitadi stay ahead on better run rate.
In Bhaktapur, Aasif and Rashid shared 42 runs for the seventh wicket before Heman removed the latter to resume the collapse. Aasif was left stranded on 31 off 67 in an innings studded with four boundaries. Khan made 27 off 50 with four boundaries.
Five Birgunj batsmen failed to open the account. Man-of-the-match Heman took 7-24 from 10 overs, while Rahul Mishra also picked up 2-14 from seven over. Mukunda Yadav had one victim.
Biratnagar innings was left in tatters when they lost their first five wickets for just 37 runs. Ankit and Firdosh Ansari (12) shared 46 runs for the sixth wicket which ultimately proved to be the match winner. Ankit made 48 from 111 balls hitting six boundaries.
Irashad Ahmed picked up 3-11 from 7.5 overs for Birgunj. Jitendra Yadav (2-15) and Rijan Dhakal (2-17) shared four wickets between them while the other wicket went to Pawan Sharraf.