Baitadi cruise to U-17 National final

Kathmandu, November 11:

Region No 6 (Baitadi) advanced to the final of the Boost Under-17 National Cricket Tournament

after their fourth consecutive victory over Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) here today. In another match, Region No 1 (Biratnagar) defeated Region No 2 (Birgunj) by 72 runs.

Baitadi were all out for 128 in 34.4 overs but restricted Nepalgunj for 109 runs in 36.3 overs. The 19-run victory today meant Baitadi earned 12 points from four matches with one more game to play. Region No 3 (Kathmandu), Region No 1 (Biratnagar) and Region No 2 (Birgunj) all have six points but Kathmandu, who have two matches to on hand, hold the second position on better run-rate. Biratnagar and Birgunj have only one match left.

Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) have three points from as many matches while Nepalgunj have yet to open their accounts.

For Baitadi, Pradeep Ayree top scored with 40 from 45 balls including six hits to the fence. Santosh Thapa contributed 15 and Sunil Tamang chipped in with 14 runs. Pratik Singh, who was later named the man of the match, was pick of the Nepalgunj bowlers with 4-19. Binaya Basyal claimed 3-26 while Sunil Sunar, Sharad Marasini and skipper Subendu Pandey picked up one wicket each.

Nepalgunj lost the match partly because of sharp Baitadi fielding and also because of lack of understanding between their batsmen. Four of the Nepalgunj batsmen were run out, three falling prey to Bhuwan Karki and one to Gokul Joshi.

Nepalgunj were cruising along nicely at 23-0 but they were soon reduced to 24-2 in the sixth over. Bashu Giri had Sitanshu Pandey (two) caught by Surendra Bahadur Chand and Rupesh Sharma (nine) was brilliantly run out by Bhuwan Karki two balls later.

Nepalgunj were reeling at 32-3 by the eighth over when Bashu Giri dismissed Bidhan Giri (two).

Subendu Pandey (27) and Bhupendra Thapa (nine) took their team to 70-4 with 38-run fourth wicket stand but their good work was undone when Subendu was run out by Bhuwan in the 20th over. Nepalgunj lost their last seven wickets for just 39 runs.

Navraj Shahi ran out of partner and remained unbeaten on 21. Bashu Giri, Naresh Rawal and Surendra Bahadur Chand took two wickets each for Baitadi.

At the Pulchowk Engineering Campus, Biratnagar were bowled out for 157 in the 35.2 overs. In reply, Birgunj could only muster 85 runs in 23.2 overs. Kundan Singh scored 40 while Anup Karki (16), Deepak Sharma (15), Aditya Shrestha (14) and Somesh Krishna Yadav (13) also contributed valuable runs for Biratnagar.

For Birgunj, Sameer Nepal took three wickets while Avinash Karn and Iqbal Ansari claimed two apiece. In reply, Sameer Nepal top scored with 15 runs while Amit Shrestha made 14 and Rabin Gurung 10 for Birgunj. Man of the match Shree Prasad Sahani took 4-24, Anup Karki finished with 3-18 and Kundan Singh claimed 2-1.

In Wednesday’s matches, Kathmandu will take on Bhairahawa and Birgunj will meet Baitadi.