Bhairahawa, Kathmandu enter semifinal

REPUBLICA, KATHMANDU, Dec 19: Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) and Region No 3 (Kathmandu) confirmed berths in the semifinals of the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament after victories on Sunday.

Bhairahawa thrashed Region No 8 (Pokhara) by a huge margin of 174 runs at the TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur while Kathmandu defeated Region No 7 (Janakpur) by 68 runs at the Pulchowk Ground.

Bhairahawa, who had earlier defeated Region No 2 (Birgunj) and Region No 6 (Baitadi), posted a mammoth 337/8 in 50 overs and bowled Pokhara out for 163 in 47.1 overs.

Faizrul Rahman Khan scored 121 in just 79 balls with 14 fours and seven sixes. He partnered Sagar Pun (69 off 88) for a 186-run opening stand. His knock came to an end when he was stumped off Nischal Pandey.

Krishna Sen anchored the middle order with 58 off 54 balls while handy contributions from Himal Shrees (23 off 23) and Prakash KC (unbeaten 23 off 13) took the team to a massive total.

Amrit Kumar Shrestha was the most successful bowler for Pokhara with bowling figures of 3-67. Saugan BC and Nischal Pandey each took two wickets.

In reply, Pokhara were nowhere in the chase. The biggest contribution came from Amrit Kumar, a tail-end batsman, who got 48 off 66 balls with eight fours and the only six of the innings. Sagar Adhikari (24) was the second highest scorer.

Bal Bahadur Thapa (3-36) and Susan Bhari (2-15) spearheaded the bowling attack of Bhairahawa.

At the Pulchowk Ground, Kathmandu put up 251/8 in 50 overs and restricted Janakpur to 183/9 at the completion of 50 overs. Openers Subash Khakurel and Sharad Khadka gave a flying start to Kathmandu with a 90-run first wicket partnership. Khakurel struck 35 runs off 53 balls while Khadka scored 63 off 120. Rajesh Pulami topscored for Kathmandu with 71 runs off 60 balls and anchored the Kathmandu innings in the middle overs. Meanwhile, skipper Prithu Baskota added 24 valuable runs for Kathmandu.

In reply, none of the Janakpur batsmen except Rahul Pratap Singh, Chakra Prakash Singh and Pradeep Sapkota could reach double figures. Rahul Pratap Singh made 42 off 67 while Chakra Prakash Singh struck 68 off 92 balls to take Janakpur to a respectable total. Sapkota added 17 runs for Janakpur.

Ritesh Singh, Nupur Pandey and Prithu Baskota took two wickets each for Kathmandu.