Bhairahawa open with win over Nepalgunj

Kathmandu, June 2:

Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) opened the defence of the Wai Wai Under-19 National Cricket League title with a 29-run victory over Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) here at the TU Stadium today.

Bhairahawa were bowled out for 145 runs in 47.3 overs after Nepalgunj skipper Anoopam Singh invited them to bat first. In reply, Nepalgunj were packed for 116 runs in 46.2 overs.

The two-time defending champions had a dream start when openers Subash Pradhan (19) and Govind Pradhan (33) added 67 runs in 14 overs. But after both the openers were out without adding a single run on the board, Bhairahawa lost momentum losing seven other wickets for 45 runs.

It was Antim Thapa who helped them reach the respectable total with two meaningful partnerships. Batting at No 4, Thapa shared a 30-run fifth-wicket stand with Akash Gupta (15) and added further 33 runs with Bal Bahadur Thapa (11) for the last wicket. Thapa played a patient knock of unbeaten 37 off 91 balls hitting just one four.

For Nepalgunj, Sandeep Shrestha returned with 2-7 off 10 overs and was ably supported by Suvendu Pandey (2-16), Naseer Ansari (2-21) and Shahid Riza (2-37).

In reply, Nepalgunj lost the first wicket of Mahesh Chhetri in the third ball of the innings and never recovered. After 15 overs, they were 38/6.

Navin Shahi top-scored with 26 off 49 balls hitting four fours, while Deep Raj Shakya made 33-ball 22. Sahid Riza (17) and Suvendu Pandey (14) were the other batsmen who reached the double-figure mark.

For Bhairahawa, Bal Bahadur Thapa took 3-13 off his economical 10 over-spell that also earned him the man of the match award. Amrit Bhattarai and Rahul Kumar BK took two wickets each. On Sunday, Region No 1 (Biratnagar) will take on Region No 6 (Baitadi) at the same venue.