Kathmandu. While Gandaki triumphed in today’s Wai Wai Under-19 National Cricket Tournament, Lumbini Province scored their fourth victory to maintain their slim hopes. By defeating Province-I by six wickets, Lumbini was able to go to the championship game.
They are in third place behind Bagmati on a lower net run rate with eight points from five games. Unbeaten Sudurpashchim Province currently leads the seven-team table with 10 points after one game. Four additional teams have already dropped out of the competition: Province-I (four), Gandaki (two), Karnali (two), and Madhesh (zero).
Prior to Lumbini reaching 73-4 with 2-4 balls left at the TU Stadium, already-eliminated Province-I were bowled out for a pitiful 69 runs in 25.2 overs. Opening batsmen Aakash Tripathi and Dev Khanal put up 40 runs in 10 overs while Lumbini, who were chasing a modest target, lost three wickets in the space of two runs, reducing them to 59-4 after 15 overs. In order to complete the formalities, Sunil Bhandari (six) and Vishal Bhusal (eight) added 14 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket.
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Tripathi scored 17 off 33 balls, while Khanal finished first with 19 off 39 balls. Each batter registered two fours. For Province-I, Dipesh Kandel grabbed 3-19, and Bipin Mahato claimed one wicket. Suvan Gahatraj and Estain Rijal were the only batters from Province-I to reach double figures earlier. In his run-a-ball 22, Gahatraj hit three fours, while Rijal scored 19 off 68 balls, including two boundaries.
Player-of-the-match Durgesh Gupta claimed 2-21 wickets for Lumbini, while Nirmal Gurung finished with a five-wicket haul, capturing 5-4 from 4.2 overs. Tul Bahadur Thapa and Avishek Gautam each claimed one wicket. Batting first, Gandaki made 234-7 in their allotted 50 overs before destroying Karnali for 125 runs in 30 overs at Mulpani, crushing them by 109 runs. Govind BK and Arjun Kumal, the Gandaki openers, laid the groundwork for the team’s 95 runs in in 26 overs. In his 55 off 87 balls, BK hit seven boundaries and a six, while Kumal scored 50 off 106 balls, including three fours.
In his rapid fire 44 off 27 balls, Deepak Dumre smashed four boundaries and two sixes, while Cibrin Shrestha scored 26 while hitting three fours. Subash Bhandari, the captain, had a perfect score of 21 off of 17 balls. For Karnali, Aawash Shah got 3-70, while Mohan BK and Binit Khatri both claimed two wickets.
The Karnali batters’ response was a failure to form alliances. Suwash Ayer led the way with 32 off 36 balls, including five boundaries, and other hitters who reached double figures included captain Bipin Rawal (19), Manish Thapa (18), and Yunish Singh (12).
Subash Bhandari, who won the game, finished with a five-wicket haul, taking 6-27 from 10 overs. Cibrin Shrestha, the captain, provided excellent support (3-15). For Gandaki, Nirtesh Giri also claimed a wicket.