Gandaki beat Province-1; Bagmati triumph, again

Bagmati Province thrashed Sudurpashchim Province by 180 runs for their second straight victory, while Gandaki Province beat Province-1 by two wickets in a low scoring match of the PM Cup Men’s National Cricket Tournament here today.

In the Group B match at the TU Stadium, Bagmati posted 299-9 in their allotted 50 overs before packing Sudurpashchim for a paltry 119 runs in 21 overs. Bagmati accumulated four points from two games to stay at the top of the table.

Invited to take the first strike, Bagmati made a bad start losing Aakash Thapa (13) with just 16 runs on the board. Another opener Aadil Khan and Paras Khadka added 44 runs for the second wicket before the latter fell for 19-ball 20 that included three boundaries.

Prithu Baskota joined Khan at the middle and the duo changed the complexion of the match. They added 109 runs for the third wicket to take the team to strong position.

After the departure of Khan — who struck 10 fours in his 86-ball 63 — in the 31st over, Baskota shared a 39- run partnership for the fourth wicket with Ishan Pandey to take the team total past 200-mark. Baskota top scored in the match with 84 off 94 balls with the help of 10 boundaries and two sixes.

Baskota and Pandey (17) were dismissed in the space of three runs before skipper Gyanendra Malla and Bipin Acharya added 61 runs for the sixth wicket. Malla scored a quick fire 32 off 23 balls hitting three fours, while Acharya struck four boundaries in his 36-ball 32. Ram Naresh Giri (10) and Tilak Bhandari (one) remained unbeaten.

Narayan Joshi was the pick of the Sudurpashchim Province taking 3-68, while Bhoj Raj Bhatta and Santosh Bhatta claimed two wickets each and Binod Lama bagged one.

In reply, Sudurpashchim Province never recovered after losing three wickets in the first over, thanks to superb bowling from Ram Naresh Giri. The right-arm medium-fast bowler trapped opener Gajendra Bohara leg before the wicket in the second ball of the innings before he had Arun Airee caught behind by Aakash Thapa in the next ball and the same combination accounted for Sanju Dhami in the last ball of the over.

Sudurpashchim were further reduced to 5-4 inside three overs after Dipesh Shrestha dismissed Khadak Bohora and Giri trapped skipper Santosh Bhatta leg before the wicket. Arjun Saud and Kiran Thagunna gave some respectability to the total sharing a 59-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Saud scored 28-ball 31 with the help of a four and three sixes, while Thagunna struck four boundaries and a six in his 45-ball 24.

Narayan Joshi played an entertaining knock hitting a four and five sixes in his unbeaten 44 off just 29 balls but it was too late for Sudurpashchim to stage a comeback. Giri returned with 4-32 from five overs and that also earned him the manof-the-match award. Nandav Yadav claimed two wickets, while Dipesh Shrestha, Tilak Bhandari and Bipin Acharya bagged one wicket each.

In another match, Provine-1 were bowled out for a paltry 102 runs in 27.4 overs and Gandaki overcame the total with 78 balls remaining but not before losing eight wickets.

Skipper Siddhant Lohani top scored for Province-1 with 24 off 31 balls that included one each four and six, while opener Minash Thapa struck four fours in his 34-ball 24.

Subash Bhandari (4-18) and Bishal Paudel (4-25) shared eight wickets between them, while Bipin Khatri claimed two wickets.

Paudel completed his hat-trick claiming the last three wickets in second, third and fourth balls of the 28th over to earn the man-of-thematch award.

In reply, Gandaki lost Rahul Upadhyay and Sameer Kandel with just three runs on the board. Opener Arjun Kumal and Deepak Dumre contributed 35 runs each to seal the victory. Kumal struck five fours in his 68-ball knock, while Dumre hit four boundaries during his 84-ball stay at the crease. Avishek Thapa remained unbeaten on 13 of 40 balls that included two fours.

Shuvankar Urao and Minash Thapa took two wickets each for Province-1, while Dipesh Kandel and Hemant Rai bagged one apiece.

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