Kathmandu enter final

Kathmandu, June 8:

Region No 3 (Kathmandu) defeated Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) by 72 runs and entered the final of the Wai Wai Under-19 National Cricket League here at the TU Stadium today.

Kathmandu will take on two-time defending champions Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) in Saturday’s final — repetition of the last edition in which Bhairahawa emerged victorious.

Bhairahawa entered the third consecutive final after defeating Region No 1 (Biratnagar) by 73 runs on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the sponsors of the tournament, Chaudhary Group, announced cash prizes to the winners. The winning team will receive Rs 25,000, while the man of the series will get Rs 15,000. The best batsman and the bowler of the event will be awarded with Rs 10,000 each, and the man of the final match will earn Rs 5,000.

On Friday, Kathmandu were bowled out for 152 runs in 48.4 overs after Nepalgunj skipper Anoopam Singh won the toss and invited them to take first strike in the overcast conditions. In reply, Nepalgunj could muster just 80 runs in 36.1 overs.

Kathmandu started poorly when they lost opener Dipen Shrestha for a 15-ball duck. Subash Khakurel (13) and Sharad Vesawkar (25) then added 34 runs for the second wicket but both were out in the space of seven runs, making it 46/3 in 15.4 overs. Vesawkar hit three fours

in his 31-ball innings.

Gyanendra Malla and Skipper Paras Khadka held the Kathmandu innings together with

a stand of 46 runs for the fourth wicket. Malla hit a four a six in his 58-ball 25, while Khadka top-scored with 31 off just 35 balls including five fours.

Avay Rana and Raman Shrestha added 15 runs for the last wickets as Kathmandu reached the respectable total. Rana became the last man out after scoring 21 off 30 balls including two fours.

For Nepalgunj, Suvendu Pandey took 3-40 off 10 overs and was ably supported by Nasir Ansari (2-22) and Nabin Shahi (2-32).

Nepalgunj’s run chase was horrible when they lost opener Ganesh Chhetry for duck, and his elder brother Mahesh departed soon with scoreboard reading 15/2. Deep Raj Shakya (20) and Suvendu Pandey (14) were the only two batsmen reaching double figure mark.

Man of the match Sharad Vesawkar took 3-12 off five overs, while Ritesh Singh claimed 3-13 off seven. Raj Shrestha pocketed 2-8 off 7.1 overs, while Avay Rana, who could not continue after bowling 3.5 overs due to side-strain, and Paras Khadka got one wicket apiece for Kathmandu.