Bhairahawa, Baitadi win; Kathmandu upset

BIRGUNJ: Region-IV (Bhairahawa), Region-VI (Baitadi) and Region-VII (Janakpurdham) won their respective matches of the MG Trophy Twenty20 National Cricket Tournament here today.

An all-round performance from Rahul Kumar BK guided Bhairahawa to a comprehensive 47-run victory over Region-V (Nepalgunj). Electing to bat first, Bhairahawa scored 116 in 19.3 overs and bowled out Nepalgunj for 69 in 16.4 overs.

Rahul scored 30 off 31 balls with four fours and skipper Antim Thapa made 16 off 31. Krishna Karki chipped in 15 off just nine deliveries with a six and four each. Sammu Khan (3-9) and Nasir Ansari (3-22) shared six wickets for Nepalgunj.

Rahul then returned to take three wickets helped by Sagar Pun (3-12) to restrict Nepalgunj to a paltry total. Anoopam Singh (17), Subendu Pandey (13) and Ramesh Singh (11) were the only Nepalgunj batsmen to score in double figures.

Baitadi outplayed Region-I (Biratnagar) by nine wickets thanks to an explosive half century from Binod Bhandari. Biratnagar could muster 128-5 before Baitadi overcame the total in 15.5 overs losing one wicket.

Ajay Rajbanshi top scored for Biratnagar with 36 off 39 balls that included three fours and a six, while Bivek Jha chipped in 19-ball 22 with four strikes to the fence. Also, Manjeet Shrestha made run-a-ball 16. Santosh Bhatta claimed two wickets, while Naresh Budhayer grabbed one.

Openers Binod and Santosh (16) gave Baitadi a fine start adding 40 runs inside eight overs. Binod then shared an unbeaten 89-run partnership as Baitadi raced to target quickly.

Binod’s 45-ball 66 included six fours and three sixes, while Naresh struck 43 runs in 28 balls that included two sixes and a four. Skipper Pushpa Thapa took the only Baitadi wicket to fall.

Janakpurdham produced an upset registering a 98-run victory over Region-III (Kathmandu). Electing to bat first, Janakpurdham scored 161-3 and restricted Kathmandu for a meagre 63 runs in 11.1 overs.

Hari Shankar Shah smashed 49 off 36 balls with four fours and a six and put a 61-run second wicket partnership with Anil Mandal (41) to pile up a huge total for Janakpurdham. Anil hit three fours and a six in 35 balls. Also, Sunil Shah made an unbeaten 21, while Kumar Prasun and Sobhakanta Pandey contributed 19 runs each.

Ujjwal Thapa, Simon Thapa and Rajesh Pulami snared one wicket apiece for Kathmandu. In reply, Kumar Prasun and Rahul Pratap Singh picked up three wickets apiece to give Janakpurdham a comprehensive win. Prashanna Shakya (23) and Ujjwal Thapa (16) were the only Kathmandu batsmen to score in double figures.