KATHMANDU, Feb 10: Region No 3 (Kathmandu) registered a thumping 156-run win over Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) on Sunday to throw the semifinal race wide open in Group A of the Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament under way in Pokhara, Kaski.
Opener Prakash Bista A shone with the bat scoring 109 runs off 124 deliveries as Kathmandu posted a total of 266 runs in 47.4 overs. Man-of-the-match Bista hit three sixes and 12 fours. He was caught by Akash Bista in 41.5 overs as the fifth wicket.
Bista shared a 67-run opening partnership with Ashish Dhami (21) before Dhami was bowled in 12.4 overs. Four and fifth number batsmen Pawan Shrestha (22) and Sharad Khadka (30) were the other players to reach double figures. Bibhatsu Thapa and Jeevan Lamsal failed to open their accounts while Sanjay Shah remained not out without scoring any run. Pramod Regmi (4), Ujjwal Thapa (9) and Abhiraj Yadav (2) also contributed for Kathmandu.
Bhupendra Roka Magar claimed three wickets of Kathmandu while Amar Singh Rautela, Siddhanta Raj Shahi and Akash Bista took two wickets each.
In reply, Nepalgunj was bowled out for 110 runs in 23.5 overs. Wasim Halwai was the highest scorer for Nepalgunj with 18 runs followed by Amran Alam Khan (17), Amar Singh Rautela (16) and Prajwal Shahi (13). No other batsmen could reach double figures.
Ujjwal Thapa took the highest three wickets for Kathmandu while Sharad Khadka and Sanjay Shahi took two wickets each. Prajesh Bahadur Singh and Abhiraj Yadav took one wicket each.
After winning its last match, Kathmandu, which is already out of the semifinal race, lies at the bottom of the table with two points while Nepalgunj is in the second place with three points. Region No 1 (Biratnagar) leads the points table with equal three points as that of Nepalgunj while Region No 6 (Baitadi) is in the third place with two points. Baitadi and Biratnagar, who will lock horns in the last match of group stage, have a match advantage over Nepalgunj.
Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) and Region No 2 (Birgunj) have already entered the semifinals as winner and runner-up from Group B.