Kathmandu enter final

Kathmandu, June 20:

Region No 3 (Kathmandu) advanced to the final of the Shikhar Senior One-day National Cricket Tournament beating defending champions Region No 2 (Birgunj) by 69 runs here at the TU Stadium today.

Middle-order batsmen rescued Kathmandu to pose a defendable total of 202-9 in 50 overs. Birgunj were all out for 133 in 38.3 overs.

Apart from No 3 batsman Sharad Vesawkar, top-order batsmen failed to deliver after Birgunj skipper Binod Das put them to bat first. Vesawkar scored 75-ball 35 after openers Paresh Lohani (nine) and Dipen Shrestha (two) were dismissed cheaply.

Allrounder Paras Khadka top scored with 44 runs off 54 balls that included five hits to the fence and a six while Birendra Shah made 26 off 35 balls. Avay Rana (22) and Dipendra Chaudhary (20) also chipped in valuable runs to the total.

Birgunj captain Binod Das took four wickets conceding 35 runs in 10 overs while

Kumar Prasun took 2-48. Raj Mohammed, Sanjog Karn and Sanjam Regmi claimed

one wicket each.

Birgunj started their run chase slowly but cautiously taking their score to 18 without losing a wicket before Kathmandu struck in the sixth over.

Paceman Amir Akhtar trapped Anil Mandal (two) leg before in the first ball and returned to dismiss Mandal’s opening partner Pratap Maharjan (25) in the eighth over. Bikash Dali top-scored with 72-ball 34 including four fours and Sanjay Lama made 28 off 32 balls.

Amir Akhtar took 3-42 in eight overs and Raj Shrestha finished with 3-22 in 8.3 overs for Kathmandu. Raju Basnet bagged two and man of the match Paras Khadka claimed one wicket.

Kathmandu will play the winners of the second semi-final match between Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) and Region No 1 (Biratnagar) on Saturday.

The second semi-final is scheduled for Thursday.