BIRGUNJ: Region-IV (Bhairahawa) and Region-II (Birgunj) set the MG Trophy Twenty20 National Cricket Tournament title clash here at the Birgunj Cricket grounds today.
Krishna Karki took a hat-trick in the first over of the innings as Bhairahwa defeated Region-VII (Janakpurdham) by five wickets. Electing to bat first after winning the toss, Janakpurdham made 115-9 in their allotted 20 overs. Bhairahawa overcame the total losing five wickets in in 17.5.
Krishna dismissed Shobhakant Pandey, Hari Shankar Shah and Samir Nepal, all for naught in the fourth, fifth and sixth balls of the first over. However, an explosive half century from Anil Mandal helped Janakpur reach a respectable total.
Anil smashed 74 off just 52 deliveries with seven fours and two sixes. Kumar Prasun and Sunil Shah both made 12 while Raj Mohammad chipped in 10 for Janakpur. Krishna, who was adjudged man-of-the-match, finished with the figures of 3-10 from four overs, while Bibek Chaudhary took 4-21.
In reply, Bhairahawa made a flying start with Subash Pradhan (31) and Fajlur Rahman Khan (26) putting on a 56-run first wicket stand. Subash hit five fours in his fiery 18-ball knock and Fajlur had a couple of sixes and a four in his 18-ball innings. Rahul BK also contributed 18 off 15 balls with two fours and a six and Amit Shrestha made an unbeaten 15. Anil followed his brilliant batting performance by taking 3-22 while skipper Kumar Prasun claimed 2-16 for Janakpur.
Earlier, Narayan Patel claimed five wickets as Birgunj defeated Region-VI (Baitadi) by 41 runs. Put into bat first, Birgunj scored 130-9 in 20 overs and restricted Baitadi for 89 in 17.3 overs. Amit Shrestha top scored for Birgunj with 36-ball 38 that included four fours and two sixes while Sameer Thapa made run-a-ball 24 with two strikes to the fence. Santosh Shah (22) and skipper Binod Das (16) also contributed valuable runs to the Birgunj total.
Chandra Saud was pick of the Baitadi bowlers with an enviable figures of 4-18 from his four overs. Bhuwan Karki, Pradeep Airee and Keshav Pant snared one wicket apiece.
In reply, man-of-the-match Narayan picked up 5-17 to restrict Baitadi for 89 runs. Binod Bhandari (31), Santosh Bhatt (15) and Pradeep (10) were the only Baitadi batsmen to score in double digits against a discipline bowling attack.
Former national team skipper Binod Das, Jatta Shankar Sarraf, Sameer and Kumar Thapa took one wicket each for Birgunj. The final is scheduled for Saturday.