Birgunj, Bhairahawa enter semis

Kathmandu, October 31:

Region No 2 (Birgunj) beat Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) by 11 runs and entered the semi-finals of the Pepsi Under-15 National Cricket Tournament as the Group B winners at the Institute of Engineering grounds today.

Bhairahawa made it to the last four as the runners-up, eliminating Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) from the three-team pool.

Electing to bat first, Birgunj accumulated 175/4 in 40 overs and restricted Bhairahawa to 164 in 39.3 overs. Opener Robin Gurung scored 69 and Bibek Dali took five-wicket haul as Birgunj registered second straight victory.

Gurung hit 14 fours in his 85-ball innings, while Sameer Nepal scored 42 off 39 balls including seven fours. Aakash Singh Pariyar remained unbeaten on 19. For Bhairahawa, Milan Rana and Krishna Sen took one wicket each.

In reply, right arm off spinner Dali wrecked Bhairahawa innings taking 5-23 in his 8-over spell. Dali had also taken five wickets against Nepalgunj on Tuesday. Krishna Sen top-scored in the innings with 28 off 34 balls hitting three fours, while opener Himal Shires made a fighting 50-ball 24.

Kiran Gurung scored 15, Rishikesh Sharma made 14 and Aashish Singh contributed 11 for Bhairahawa. Sameer Nepal took 2-24 and Shanawaz Ali claimed one wicket for Birgunj. Bara Cricket Association chairman Sushil Chaugain gave away the man of the match award to Dali.

On Thursday, Region No 1 (Biratnagar) will take on Region No 6 (Baitadi) at the same venue.