Bhairahawa sets final clash with APF
The all-round performance of Sagar Pun helped Bhairahawa crush Region No 7 (Janakpur) by eight wickets in the semifinal on Thursday while the stellar performance of Basant Regmi sealed a 120-run victory for APF over Region No 2 (Birgunj).
It is the fifth time Bhairahawa has reached the final of the national One-Day tournament while it is the consecutive second final for APF. Bhairahawa had played its last final in 2064 BS.
APF elected to bat at the TU Cricket Ground, Kirtipur and put up 279/8 in allotted 50 overs as opener Paresh Lohani scored 53 runs off 71 balls, including five boundaries. It was the third half-century by Lohani in the ongoing tournament. Sanjay Shrestha added 49 runs off 49 balls, including five boundaries and two sixes, while skipper Paras Khadka contributed 41 runs off 37 balls, including four boundaries and two sixes. Meanwhile, Sharad Vesawkar chipped in 28 runs and Regmi added unbeaten 27 runs off 28 balls.
Kumar Thapa took three wickets while Naresh Raj Giri and Jitendra Mukhiya claimed two wickets each.
Chasing the good total, Birgunj was bowled out for 159 runs in 44 overs as man-of-the-match Basant Regmi took four wickets. Rabin Gurung (42 runs off 41 balls) was the highest contributor for Birgunj while AmitShrestha, MdHasim Ansari and Aarif Sheikh added 21 runs each. Amrit Bhattarai, Sunam Gautam, Shakti Gauchan, Sanjam Regmi and Sharad Vesawkar claimed a wicket each to seal the easy victory for APF.
At the Pulchowk Engineering Ground, Lalitpur, Janakpur elected to bat but failed against the bowling attack of Bhairahawa. Janakpur was all out for 131 runs in 45.2 overs as Lal Bahadur Adhikari took three wickets and Bibek Chaudhary as well as Sagar Pun claimed two wickets each. Krishna Karki and Sushan Bhari also took a wicket each. Anil Mandal (30 runs off 46 balls) was the top scorer for Janakpur while Chandan Jha contributed 26 runs off 81 balls.
In reply, man-of-the-match Pun and his opening partner Fajlur Rahman Khan scored half-centuries to seal an easy victory for Bhairahawa in 22.5 overs losing only two wickets. Pun scored 52 runs off 48 balls including nine boundaries before AbishekJha claimed his wicket. Pun and Khan put up a 100-run opening partnership. Jha claimed the wicket of Nischal Chaudhary (naught) but Khan remained unbeaten with 52 runs off 69 balls along side Antim Thapa (19 runs off 18 balls). Khan struck seven boundaries while anchoring the Bhairahawa innings.
The final match will be played at the TU Cricket Ground, Kirtipur on Friday.