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Birgunj oust Ktm to make it to semis

KATHMANDU, DEC 18 - Spurred by Amit Shrestha’s ton and Kumar Thapa’s five wicket haul region No. 2 Birgunj trounced region No. 3 Kathmandu by 148 runs to book their berth in the semi-final of the Pepsi Standard Chartered One-day National Cricket on Tuesday.

With the result Birgunj finished the group stage as runners-up with four points from three matches while Kathmandu fell down to the third spot with two points from as many matches in Group B.

Armed Police Force will take on Birgunj and Bhairahawa play Janakpur in the semi-final on Thursday. Openers Shrestha and Suraj Kurmi stitched a 179 run stand to get Birgunj, who had elected to bat to a total of 291/5.

Kumar Thapa ended with figures of 9-2-14-5 to bowl Kathmandu out for 143 runs in 36 overs. Avash Karn got rid of Robin Joshi (19) in the seventh over to reduce the hosts to 26-1. Thapa then wiped the rest of the batting leaving Kathmandu no room for comeback.  Only Rajesh Pulami and Indra Kamal Manandhar had shown some resistance hitting 29 and 25 runs respectively but Thapa got rid of them in 19th and 21st over leaving Kathmandu tethering on 98-4 after which on wickets tumbled one after other blowing Kathmandu’s chances of making it to the semi-final.

Earlier, Shrestha, who had reached his 50 in 63 balls, completed his century in 111 balls while Kurmi faced 111 balls for his half century.

Niraj Bhattarai broke the formidable partnership in the 39th over when he had Kurmi (65) caught by Keshav Raj Pant.

Prashanna Shakya who bowled only three overs ended with two wickets included the prized one of Shrestha. Shakya stumped Shrestha who had smashed a six and 14 boundaries on his way to 127-balls 126 runs in the 46th over. By then the damage had been done as Birgunj were 242/4. Rabin Gurung and Aarif Sheikh’s 23 and 21 runs respectively helped them post a comfortable score on the board.

In the other match held at the Engineering Ground, region no. 6 Baitadi finally got off the mark with a 52 run victory over region no. 4 Bhairahawa. But the result changed nothing as despite the loss Bhairahawa made it to the semi-final as runners-up of group A and Baitadi finished the group stage at the pit of the table.

Defending a total of 198 runs Bhuwan Karki grabbed six wickets to bowl Bhairahawa out for 146 runs in 33.1 overs. Sagar Pun who had stroked a brilliant century a day ago fell victim to Bhuwan contributing just 41 runs and the rest of the batting crumbled from there on.

Earlier, after a shaky start where Krishna Karki created havoc on batsmen Naresh Budhayer had held the middle order with his 77 runs for Baitadi.

Posted on: 2012-12-19 08:50

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