Washim steers Nepalgunj to victory

LALITPUR: Skipper Wasim Halwai scored a magnificent half century to steer Region-V (Nepalgunj) to a four-wicket win over Region-III (Kathmandu) in the Boost Under-16 National Cricket League here at the Pulchowk Engineering grounds today.

Electing to bat first, Kathmandu were bowled out for 146 runs in 33 overs and Nepagunj overcame the total losing six wickets in 27.2 overs. Kathmandu batsmen failed to convert the big start provided by openers. Dilman Rokka (29) and Sharad Khadka (17) put on 41 runs for first wicket before Saud Ahmed Ansari bowled the latter in the ninth over.

Skipper Nupur Pandey (18) joined Rokka and the two batsmen added further 28 runs but Rokka was run out in the 15th over. Kathmandu were still cruising along nicely until they lost two wickets without adding a run to make it 87-4. Thereafter only Bijay Rokaya (27) made a significant contribution as the Kathmandu innings came to an end in the 33rd over. Prajwal Shahi bagged two wickets while Saud Ahmed, Inamuddin Halwai and Ainuddin Ansari claimed one apiece for Nepalgunj.

Chasing a competitive target, Nepalgunj were reeling at 15-3 after the fourth over but skipper Washim ensured his team' victory with an unbeaten 64 runs. Washim struck six boundaries in his fluent 67-ball knock. Man-of-the-match Washim also got valuable support from Rupak Nepali (28) and Ainuddin Ansari (20). Bijaya Rokaya was the pick of the Kathmandu bowlers with 3-31 from eight overs. Skipper Nupur took two and Sujan Basnet claimed one wicket.

With the day’s result, Nepalgunj lie third in the table with two points from one match. Region-IV (Bhairahawa) lead the standings with a maximum four points, ahead of Region-II (Birgunj) only on nett run-rate. The top two teams, however, have played one game more than Nepalgunj. Region-I (Biratnagar) and Region-VI (Baitadi) are yet to win after losing two matches each.