POKHARA, Feb 11: Region No 1 (Biratnagar) and Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) reached the semifinals of Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament on Monday as Mayanand Chaudhary´s all-round performance helped Biratnagar thrash Region No 6 (Baitadi) by 60 runs.
With the win in its last group stage match, Biratnagar not only topped Pool A with five points from three matches but also sent defending champion Baitadi packing. Nepalgunj has three points from three matches while Region No 3 (Kathmandu) and Baitadi have two points each.
Biratnagar will take on Pool B runner-up Region No 2 (Birgunj) in the first semifinal on Tuesday while Nepalgunj will lock horns with Pool B winner Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) on Wednesday.
On Monday, Biratnagar elected to bat at the Pokhara Stadium and posted 230/8 in 50 overs as Mayanand Chaudhary garnered 52 runs off 98 balls with six boundaries. Biratnagar lost opener Somesh Yadav (1 run) in the third over but another opener Amol Das (34 runs off 35 balls) and Chaudhary put up a 65-run partnership for the second wicket.
Chaudhary then put up a 55-run partnership with Suman Shrestha (39 runs of 62 balls) for the fourth wicket. Mukunda Yadav and Rohit Singh also chipped in with 21 runs off 33 balls and 17 runs off 24 balls respectively. Amit Dahal remained unbeaten on 11 runs for Biratnagar.
Yogendra Karki dismissed three Biratnagar batsmen while Bhim Sarki claimed two wickets for Baitadi.
Chasing 231 runs for victory, Baitadi was all out for 173 runs in 44.1 overs. Amit Dahal took four wickets to rattle Baitadi while Kalicharan Yadav, Heman Rai and Mayanand Chaudhary claimed two wickets each.
Baitadi´s middle order batsmen stood up to Biratnagar´s bowling attack, while the rest failed to deliver. Dilip Nath was the top scorer with 43 runs off 57 balls. Baitadi was at 50/4 in 20.2 overs but Nath and Bhim Sarki (37 runs off 47 balls) put up a 92-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Nath was bowled by Chaudhary in the first ball of 37th over while Amit Dahal claimed the wicket of Sarki in the first ball of the next over to dash Baitadi´s hopes.
The tail-enders could not even reach double figures and the last four wickets fell adding only 31 runs. Earlier, Prem Tamang scored 24 runs off 47 balls and Sandeep Khadka added 16 runs off 31 balls for Baitadi.
Mayanand Chaudhary was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his all-round performance.