Sudurpaschim get Lumbini for title clashBishal Bikram KC’s team see off Madhesh by 58 runs to ensure they finish the league round in second position in U-19 national cricket.
Lumbini Province defeated Madhesh Province by 58 runs in their last league match on Saturday to set up a meeting with Sudurpaschim in the title clash in the Under-19 National Cricket Tournament.
Prajjwol Thapa starred with the bat scoring a half century as Lumbini posted 222-9 in 50 overs after being sent in to bat first at the TU cricket ground.
In reply, Avishek Gautam and captain Bishal Bikram KC took three wickets each to help Lumbini restrict Madhesh for 164 runs in 45.4 overs to advance as group-runners up and book a mouth-watering showdown against group leaders and favourites Sudurpaschim.
Sudurpaschim, the only unbeaten side in the tournament, advanced into the final with a seven-wicket drubbing of Bagmati Province on Friday.
The win gave Lumbini 10 points from six matches, two behind leaders Sudurpaschim.
Lumbini will now look to avenge their league defeat when they lock horns with Sudurpaschim in the title match in Kirtipur on Monday.
Lumbini had already smelled a spot in the final when they pipped Bagmati to the second spot just a day before and needed only to avoid a heavy defeat against a poor-performing Madhesh.
But, Madhesh, boosted by a five-wicket win over Gandaki for their only win—though in a dead rubber match, struck early.
Openers Dev Khanal (11) was bowled by Abijit Mandal and Aakash Tripathi (23) was trapped leg in front by Abhishek Tiwari.
Madhesh’s pick bowler Nikesh Gupta (3-42) then removed captain Bikram KC for a duck and Sunil Bhandari for a nought in the space of five deliveries to put Lumbini in trouble at 62-4.
But Thapa kept his cool smashing 85 runs that included nine fours and two sixes in his patient 128-ball knock to lead Lumbini to a moderate total. It was also Thapa’s career high score across the domestic tournaments.
Thapa, who has also started in the senior team for Lumbini, was the sole warrior of the innings as Lumbini kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Vishal Bhusal and Nirmal Gurung departed adding 13 runs each, before Thapa was bowled by Gutpa in the 44.6 overs.
Tul Bahadur Thapa (8) and Durgesh Gupta (8) dragged Lumbini to 203-9 before Nar Sarki staged a late show with a quick fire 26 off 14 balls featuring two boundaries and two sixes to guide Lumbini to a good total.
In reply, opener Mayan Yadav gave Madhesh a good start to their innings with a 45-ball 38, punishing Dev Khanal who had gifted him a lifeline with a dropped catch in the second delivery of the first over.
Yadav also put on a 41-run stand with Ali Ansari, who made 22, for the second wicket. Yadav was stumped by wicket keeper Thapa in the 19.1 overs.
Ansari was caught by Sarki off Bikram KC in the 26.2 overs.
But Madhesh wickets fell regularly, with Imran Sheikh (4), Shailendra Sah (10), captain Tiwari (5), Dablu Malik (18), Gupta (10) and Nitesh Yadav (3) all departing cheaply.
Sarfaraj Mansuri scored 31 off 58 balls to fight back late in the innings before Sarki bowled him out to ensure Lumbini finish second in the seven-team standings.
In the day’s other action at the Mulpani cricket ground, Province 1 thumped Karnali Province by seven wickets in a low-scoring match to end the U-19 campaign with three wins from six matches.
Electing to bat first after winning the toss, Suwash Ayer scored 47 runs facing 67 deliveries as Karnali reached 152 in 43.2 overs.
In response, opener Sonu Ansari hit 45 off 36 balls and Bhupal Dangal made 42 off 61 balls as Province 1 chased down the target in 31.3 overs at the loss of three wickets.