HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
POKHARA: Region-IV (Bhairahawa) staged a remarkable comeback with the ball to cruise past Region-II (Birgunj) by 47 runs in the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament today.
In a Group ‘A’ match at the Rangashala grounds, Bhairahawa were 110 all out in 31.2 overs after electing to bat first. However, a superb bowling display from Bibek Chaudhary saw Bhairahawa defend the low total bundling out Birgunj for just 63 in 30.3 overs. Birgunj were already sniffing victory with a low target to chase but they went out of clue after Bhairahawa struck regularly.
Birgunj innings derailed with the start when Man Bahadur Thapa got rid off danger-man Amit Shrestha (one) — who had made two centuries in the senior National One Day Cricket Tournament last year — in the second over. Bibek then did the rest of the work with his off spin dealing hammer blow to the Birgunj top and middle order with a five-wicket haul.
Man-of-the-match Bibek returned with the figures of 5-19 in 10 overs that included two maidens. Aarif Sheikh (10) was the only Birgunj batsman to make runs in double figures, while No 6 Bikram Basnet made nine runs. Susan Bhari picked up two middle order wickets with Devendra Somare and Eklakh Ahmed claiming one each. Earlier, Bhairahawa were heading towards a respectable total after Bijaya Ghalan and Ganesh Gaudel rescued the team from 17-3. The duo added 83 runs for the fourth wicket but once Aarif dismissed Bibek in the 27th over, Bhairahawa lost their last seven wickets for just 10 runs.
Bijaya frustrated Birgunj bowlers making 37 off 92 with five boundaries. Ganesh departed soon losing his wicket to Irshad Ahmed in the 28th over for 30 runs. Ganesh also clobbered five boundaries in 49 deliveries. After both set batsmen departed, it took Birgunj no time to fold Bhairahawa innings.
Bhairahawa innings featured three duck outs. Avinash Karn, Irshad and Aarif picked up three wickets each for Birgunj. Ram Naresh Giri also had one scalp. On Saturday, Bhairahawa will take on Region-VII (Janakpur).