Kathmandu, Birgunj, Nepalgunj and APF secure victory

Cricnepal/Kathmandu: Region Number 3 Kathmandu, Region Number 2 Birgunj, Region Number 5 Nepalgunj and APF registered victories in the opening day of the Pepsi Standard Chartered One Day National Twenty20 Cricket Tournament being held at Tribhuwan University Ground and Pulchowk Engineering Ground today.

In a first match played at Tribhuwan University Ground, Kathmandu won the toss and elected to bat first. With a promising partnership of 77 runs between Bivatsu Thapa and Arjun Adhikari, Kathmandu posted a good total of 162 runs losing half of their wickets. Kathmandu lost their first wicket at the score of 22 when Niraj Bhattarai was trapped leg before wicket in the hands of Dipendra Yadav. The most talked about player Som Pal Thapa next joined the pavilion at personal score of 13 while Niraj Basnet 17, Suraj KC 26 added some runs for Kathmandu. The turning point was the unbeaten partnership of Bivatsu and Arkun who remained unbeaten at 44 and 33 respectively. Bivatsu played a 26 balls innings strucking two fours and three sixes while Arjun had two boundaries and equal sixes in his account.

Fazlur Rahman Khan was the most wicket taker for Bhairahawa with two wickets for 15 runs while Devendra Somare also got one.

In reply, Region Number 4 Bhairahawa bundled in a low total of 78 runs leaving the match short of 84 runs. Fazlur top scored 28 runs before the skipper Antim Thapa added a 17 runs total in the board. Rest of the batsman failed to accumulate considerable runs as the innings ended on 15th over. Thanks to Anil Karki’s four wickets haul and man of the match Niraj’s three wicket that took Kathmandu to a good position and lead the group after day I. Niraj finished 3 for 11 while Anil had a memorable figure of 4 for 3. Prakash Bista and Arpan Kafle grabbed two and a wicket each.

Meanwhile in the second match played at TU, Region Number 2 Birgunj registered a comfortable victory of 9 wickets over Region Number 1 Biratnagar. Winning the toss, Biratnagar entered to bat and scored a low 85 runs with Manjeet Shrestha scoring 28 runs, the only player to score a double digit figure for the team in the match. Former Nepal International and Captain Binod Das had a good time with his bowling conceding only 7 runs in his four overs spell with a wicket in hand. Kumar Thapa picked up three while Aarif Sheikh snatched two. Jitendra Mukhiya and Ramnaresh Giri shared wicket apiece for the winning side.

In reply, Birgunj only lost Hasim Ansari(19) at 6th over to make a comfortable win. Amit Shrestha remained unbeaten at 43 off 49 with seven boundaries while Suraj Patel was not out at 18. Pushpa Thapa got the only wicket for Biratnagar. Mehboob Alam failed to pick any wickets neither made any contribution in batting line up.

While in the matches played at Engineering Ground, Pulchowk Region Number 5 Nepalgunj registered a 25 runs victory over Region Number 7 Janakpur. Wicketkeeper batsman Mahesh Chhetri scored a first fifty of the tournament before Nepalgunj posted a achievable total of 142 runs. Mahesh shared an opening partnership of 32 runs with Rupesh Sharma before Rupesh got caught for 14 at 4th over. Chhetri struck two fours and a maximum in his spell. Subendu Padey 25 and Nasir Ansari 17* were some other major contributors. Nepalgunj lost seven wickets, two to Raj Mohammad and Hari Shankar Sah, and a wicket each to Abhishek Jha, Rahul Pratap Singh and Prahlad Shah.

Fighting back Janakpur managed to score only 117 runs with losing seven wickets in 20 overs. Chandan Jha top scored 25 runs while Sunil Sah 21, Hari Shankar 20, Rajaul Mustafa 18 were some valid contributors. Aakash Bista and Nijamuddin Halwahi took three wickets each for Biratnagar while Mahesh was awarded the man of the match.

While in the last match of the day, the star players packed departmental team Armed Police Force(APF) defeated Region Number 8 Pokhara by 92 runs comprehensively. Winning the toss, APF went to bat first and posted a mammoth total of 193 runs losing only four wickets: Paresh Lohani(7), Subash Khakurel(27), Dipendra Chaudhary(24) and Gyanendra Malla (90). Malla showed his batting skills with playing only 44 balls to sum a total of 90 with seven boundaries and equal sixes. Paras Khadka remained unbeaten at 35 off 13(4 4s and 2 6s). Anil Gurung snatched two while Deepesh Shrestha and Sushil Kandel claimed a wicket each for Pokhara.

In the second innings, Pokhara played all overs to add only 101 runs on board with Deepesh remaing not out at 29 runs and Santosh Gurung adding 18. Wickets trembled often as Rijan Prajoo 15 was the only other batsman to make a double digit score. For APF’s side Bhuvan Karki and Rom Shrestha claimed two wickets each while Amrit Bhattarai and Shakti Gauchan took wicket apiece. Gyanendra was later adjudged the man of the match.

On Friday, Nepalgunj will take on newly formed Region Number 9 Mahendranagar while Janakpur will face Pokhara at T.U. Ground. At Engineering Ground, Birgunj will face APF and Biratnagar will play Nepalgunj.

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