Province-3 enter semi-finals

Sunsari, January 4

Subash Khakurel scored a magnificent unbeaten half century as Province-3 advanced to the semi-finals of the Manmohan Memorial National One-Day Cricket Tournament here at the Inaruwa grounds today.

In the Group C match which was reduced to 28-over-a-side because of wet outfield, Province-3 defeated Province-1 by seven wickets.

Batting first, Province-1 were bowled out for 144 runs in the last ball of the innings before Province-3 reached 147-3 with 12 balls to spare.

With the win, Province-3 accumulated three points from two matches and made it to the last four as group winners, while Province-1 and Province-5 were eliminated from group. Province-5 finished with two points, while Province-1 earned one. The match between Province-3 and Province-5 was washed out due to rain yesterday, while Province-1 had defeated Province-5 in first match of the group on Thursday.

Chasing a modest target, Province-3 openers Rit Gautam and skipper Khakurel put in 34 runs inside seven overs before the former was dismissed for 22-ball 17 that included two boundaries and a six. Khakurel and Aadil Khan (11) then added 36 runs for the second wicket before Province-3 lost two quick wickets to be 84-3 in 18 overs.

Khakurel and Jitendra Singh Thakuri took the team home with a 63-run partnership for the unbroken fourth wicket. Khakurel struck seven boundaries and five sixes in his unbeaten 85 off 73 balls, while Thakuri scored 17 not out. Shuvankar Urao took two wickets for Province-1, while Dipesh Kandel grabbed one.

Earlier, Province-1 rode on half century fro skipper Puspa Thapa to post the challenging total. Thapa scored 41-ball 50 with the help of five fours and two sixes, while opener Minash Thapa was the next best with 20. Firdosh Ansari (18) and Raj Thapa (10) were the other Province-1 batsmen who contributed in double figures.

Nandan Yadav was the pick of the Province-3 bowlers taking 4-22 from six overs, while Ram Naresh Giri grabbed 2-19. Pratis GC, Ishan Pandey and Jitendra Singh Thakuri claimed one wicket each.

Province-3 skipper Khakurel was named the man of the match. On Sunday, Tribhuvan Army Club will take on Nepal APF Club in Group A match.