Bhairahawa, Birgunj in final

Kathmandu, May 26:

Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) and Region No 2 (Birgunj) entered the final of the fifth National Cricket Tournament here today. On Friday, Bhairahawa defeated Kathmandu by two wickets at the Tribhuvan University Stadium while Birgunj beat four times champions Biratnagar by 61 runs in Bhaktapur.

Kathmandu could only muster 134 runs in 49.2 overs after put in to bat first by Bhairahawa. Kathmandu were struggling at 40/5 at one stage but Paras Khadka guided the team to the respectable total with an unbeaten 38 runs including a four and a six. Subhash Khakurel (20), Abhaya Rana (18) and Sharad Vesawkar (11) also chipped in with valuable runs.

Basanta Regmi claimed four wickets conceding 19 runs in 9.2 overs for Bhairahawa while Dil Bahadur Adhikari took three. Dipesh Khatri and Shakti Gauchan shared one each.

Bhairahawa chased the target in 40.3 overs, thanks to the tailenders Dipesh Khatri (19) and Akash Gupta (20) who held on to win the match .

Earlier Subhash Pradhan scored 41 off 54 balls to bring Bhairahawa closer to victory. But his effort was almost wasted when others falter and Bhairahawa were reeling at 98/8 in 31.2 overs. They looked comfortable with 82/5 but three wickets in the space of 12 runs brought Kathmandu back into match only to be denied by the tough tailenders.

Skipper Raju Basnyat took three wickets and Kalam Ali claimed two for Kathmandu.

In Bhaktapur, Kaniska Chaugain guided Birgunj to a 61-run win over Biratnagar. Riding on 89 runs from Chaugain, Birgunj made 145 runs before being bowled out in the 49.2 overs.

Lakpa Lama and Mehboob Alam picked three wickets each while Raj Kumar Pradhan took two for Biratnagar.

Chasing the revised target of 139 runs off 45 overs in the rain shortened second innings, Biratnagar were all out for 77 in 36.3 overs. Dipendra Chaudhary (22) and Unil Shrestha (13) were the only batsmen to reach double figure for Biratnagar.

Skipper Binod Das and Kumar Prasuna claimed three wickets each while Dipesh Dutta took two and Sanjam Ragmi earned one wicket for Birgunj.