Kathmandu edges valiant Bhairahawa
Posted by Prabin the सोभित on सोमवार, अप्रील 7, 2008
THE KATHMANDU POST
KATHMANDU, April 6 – Region No 3 Kathmandu lifted the Springwood National League Cricket Tournament title after emerging the winner in an epic battle with defending champion Region No 4 Bhairahawa at the TU Cricket Ground on Sunday.
The final was decided on the last ball with Bhairahawa falling short by just one run. Requiring 169 in 36 overs as a revised target, Bhairahawa ended at 167/9. Kathmandu had earlier scored 199 in 49.3 overs. Some terrific batting from the tail-enders put Bhairahawa back on track after the match looked dead for them at 136/9 with five overs to go. No 10 Mohan Thapa then made 29 runs off 27 balls with a four and a six, but his efforts went in vain as he could not get four off the last two balls. Having gone into the last over with eight required, Mohan and last man Faizal Khan ran a run each in the first four balls bowled by Paras Khadka. The fifth ball was a straight ball that Mohan could only defend back to Paras. On the last ball, the team needed four to win but Mohan could get only two as Kathmandu won the title for the first time in their fourth final.
Before Mohan’s heroics, it was Rahul Biswokarma who scored 36 in 37 balls with two fours and a six to take his team near the required total after the top-order failed to get good runs. Among the seven top-order batsmen, only Shakti Gauchan (24), Antim Thapa (21) and Bijaya Thapa (19) got to double figures while the other four totaled just 16.
It was Pramod Basnet who pegged Bhairahawa back by getting two openers early and in between that Bijaya got run out in a mix up with opener Manoj Vaishya. Left-arm spinner Raju Basnet too got two in the middle while Sarad took two vital wickets – of Shakti and Rahul to douse Bhairahawa hopes of becoming only the second team after Biratnagar to defend the title.
“Rain played the spoilsport,” Bhairahawa captain Shakti said. The match was played in overcast condition and was stopped after three overs of Bhairahawa innings for rainfall and the target was revised.
Earlier, Kathmandu’s decision to bat first proved a good one as its top-order batted well. Captain Paresh Lohani and Dipendra Chaudhary added 43 as openers with Dipendra scoring 35 off 48 balls. Dipendra paid penalty for not wearing spikes and tripped in the slippery wicket to get run out. Sarad got 44 off 81 balls and Gyanendra Malla topscored with 60 off 92 balls. Sarad and Gyanendra added 91 runs for the third wicket and took Kathmandu to a competitive total.
Paras’s late assault of 18 off 17 with two sixes and Pramod’s 10 took Kathmandu to 199 in 49.3 overs. All Kathmandu wickets went to spinners with Basanta Regmi taking three, and Shakti and Rahul claiming two each.