Birgunj claim U-19 trophy

Kathmandu, March 22:

Region No-II (Birgunj) claimed the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament with a 99-run win over first-time finalists Region No-V (Nepalgunj) in the rain-marred final here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium today.

Electing to bat first, Birgunj were all out for 169 in the 49 overs. Nepalgunj could only manage 51 in 21.1 overs in reply. After rain interruption midway through their innings, Nepalgunj were given a revised target of 151 in 39 overs.

Birgunj skipper Aakash Singh Pariyar top scored with 40 from 94 balls while Kanchan Thapa made a fluent 32 from 34 balls.

Tailenders Kumar Thapa and Dipendra Kumar Raut also chipped in with 11 runs each. Navin Shahi was the pick of the Nepalgunj bowlers with 3-30.

Sandeep Shrestha (2-23) and Shubendu Pandey (2-33) also grabbed two wickets apiece while Md Shahid Riza and Sunil Sunar took one each.

Nepalgunj never looked like chasing the total after losing quick wickets. Opener Bidhan Giri top scored with 54-ball 16 and was the ninth batsman to fall.

Navin Shahi (12) was the only other Nepagunj batsman to score in double figures. Hasim Ansari took 4-6 while man of the match Jatta Shankar Sarraf claimed 3-10. Sarraf received Rs 10,000 for his effort — Rs 5,000 from tournament sponsor Wai Wai and an addition Rs 5,000 from Rudra Raj Sahitya Sewa as Rudra Raj Khelkud award.

Sunny Pun of Region No-I (Biratnagar) was handed over the man of the series award for his 165-run contribution in three matches. Likewise Nepagunj players Anupam Singh and Navin Shahi was adjudged the best batsman and best bowler respectively.

Singh scored 132, which also included a half century, from four matches while Shahi took 13 wickets from four matches. Pun, Singh and Shahi all received Rs 10,000 from Wai Wai. Likewise, winners Birgunj got Rs 25,000 and runners up Nepagunj Rs 15,000.

Member Secretary of the National Sports Council Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) President Binay Raj Pandey, CAN Vice-president Upendra Prasad Bhattarai and Director of Chaudhary Groups Nirvana Chaudhary among others gave away the prizes.