Lumbini see off Province 1 to keep alive final hopes in U-19 national cricketBishal Bikram KC’s team are third in the table and face an easy task against winless Madhesh in their last league match.
Nirmal Gurung-inspired Lumbini Province thrashed already-eliminated Province 1 by six wickets at the TU cricket ground on Thursday to stay in contention for the final race in the Under-19 National Cricket Tournament.
Spinner Gurung returned the match figures of 5-4 in his 4.2 over bowling spell that also featured two maiden overs to help Lumbini restrict Province 1 to a paltry total of 69 in 26.2 overs.
Gurung impressed from the start, removing opener Sonu Ansari for a nought in the very first delivery of the first over.
Suvan Gahatraj, the highest scorer for Province 1, made 22 before Avishek Gautam (1-11) had him caught by Aakash Tripathi in the ninth over.
Durgesh Gupta, who took five wickets in a 85-run shock win over Bagmati on Wednesday, then bowled captain Dipesh Kandel (5) and Faijal Rahaman (0) in the successive deliveries of the 12th over to inflict further damage on Province 1 innings.
Tul Bahadur Thapa added to the Lumbini misery, trapping Bhupal Dangal in front towards the end of the 20th over.
Gurung then brushed off the rest of the batters including the wicket of Estain Rijal— the only other Province 1 batter to reach double digit figures—as Province 1 succumbed to the third-lowest total of the tournament so far.
Province 1 also hold the tag for the lowest total in an innings when they were bundled out for just 51 by title favourites Sudurpaschim on Monday.
In reply, Lumbini also struggled with the bat, with openers Tripathi and Dev Khanal departing cheaply for 17 and 19 respectively.
Captain Bishal Bikram KC was sent back for a nought, trapped lbw by Dipesh Kandel (3-19), who also removed Khanal.
Khanal also removed Prajjwol Thapa for 15 to wreak havoc in the Lumbini batting order.
But despite the batting collapse, the target was too easy to reach and Sunil Bhandari added 6 not out and Vishal Bhusal contributed 8 not out as Lumbini reached 73-4 in just 16 overs.
The win gives Lumbini eight points from five matches, level with Bagmati on points.
Bagmati occupy the second spot due to superior run rate. But they face an acid test against unbeaten Sudurpaschim in their final league round on Friday.
A defeat against the leaders could prove fatal to Bagmati’s chances to reach the final, provided Lumbini face an easy task against rock-bottom Madhesh Province, who are still winless after four rounds and have already exited the tournament.
The top two teams at the end of the single round robin league will qualify for the December 5 title match.
In the day’s dead rubber action at Mulpani cricket ground, Gandaki Province defeated Karnali Province by 109 runs to register their first win of the tournament.
Openers Govind BK and Arjun Kumal scored half centuries each and Deepak Dumre added 44 as Gandaki posted 234-7 after choosing to bat first.
Aawash Shah took three wickets while Mohan BK pocketed two for Karnali.
In response, Subash Bhandari returned 6-27 and Cibrin Shrestha took 3-15 as Gandaki skittled out Karnali for 125 in 30 overs for a consolation victory.