Birgunj beat Baitadi to enter semi-finals

Kathmandu, March 19:

Rregion No 2 (Birgunj) defeated Region No 6 (Baitadi) by 54 runs to advance to the semi-finals of the Wai Wai Under-19 National Cricket Tournament here today.

Birgunj advanced as the Group B runners up to Region No 4 (Bhairahawa), while Region No 3 (Kathmandu) and Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) have already advanced to the semi-finals as the Group A winners and runners up respectively.

Batting first at the Birendra Sainik Awasiya Mahavidyalaya grounds in Bhaktapur, Birgunj were bowled out for 198 in 44.3 overs. In reply, Baitadi were packed for 144 in 40 overs.

Opener Sumit Shrestha top scored for Birgunj with 45-ball 29 that included five boundaries. Ramji Kumar Kanu scored an unbeaten 28 off 56 balls, while Binay Kumar Shah contributed 26 and Kanchan Thapa scored a quick fire 21 off 17 balls hitting three fours and a six. Skipper and wicketkeeper Aakash Singh Pariyar hit two boundaries in his 23-ball 17.

Man of the match Chandra Saud and Bhuwan Karki took three wickets each for Baitadi, while Kuldeep Khadka pocketd two. Naresh Budhayer scored 50 off 85 balls and Pradeep Airee made 35 but they could not avert their team’s loss after other batsmen failed to score in double digits. Budhayer hit six boundaries in his 85-ball knock, while Airee’s 46-ball innings included five fours.

Hasim Ansari was the peak of the Birgunj bowlers with 3-24 off nine overs. Avinash karn, Manish Srivastav and Bibek Dali claimed two wickets.

In the other match held at TU Stadium, Kathmandu beat Nepalgunj by three wickets to top Group A

with six points. Batting first after winning the toss, Nepalgunj were bowled

out for 94 runs in 33.5 overs and Kathmandu overcame the target losing seven wickets in 31.5 overs.

Anupam Singh scored an unbeaten 42 off 114 balls hitting five boundaries, while Md Shahid Riza (16) and Sandeep Shrestha (10) were the only other two batsmen to score in double figures for Nepalgunj. Prithu Baskota took 3-13 off 6.5 overs, while Rupesh Shrivastav claimed 3-23 off nine overs for Kathmandu. Ritesh Singh and Raman Shrestha pocketed two wickets apiece.

In reply, kathmandu skipper Gyanendra Malla top scored with 25 off 38 balls including three boundaries. Opener Indra Kamal Manandhar scored 46-ball 19, while Rom Shrestha scored an unbeaten 16. For Nepalgunj, Navin Shahi and Md Shahid Riza took two wickets each, while Sandeep Shrestha, Sunil Sunar and Shubendu Pandey claimed one wicket apiece.

Meanwhile, Wai Wai, the sponsors of the tournament, announced the cash prize of Rs 25,000 to the winners and Rs 15,000 to the runners up. In a press release issued here today, CG Foods (Nepal) Pvt Ltd said the sponsors would also give Rs 10,000 each to the man of the series, best bowler and best batsman and Rs 5,000 to the man of the match of the final.