By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu – An inspired performance by spinner Ajay Chauhan and fast bowler Durgesh Gupta helped Lumbini Province lift the title of the U-19 National Cricket Tournament on Sunday. Lumbini bagged the title by defeating Sudur Paschim Province with a wide margin of 113 runs in the final held at TU Cricket Ground, Kirtipur.
Chasing a total of 213 runs, Sudur Paschim were all out in 28.3 overs with just 99 runs on board. Lokesh Bam of Sudur Paschim was the top scorer for the team with 25 runs from 39 balls that included four boundaries. No other players were able to perform well in the match.
Fast Bowler Durgesh Gupta was instrumental in taking the first wicket for his team as Naresh Bhatta was caught by wicketkeeper Prajwal Thapa in his strike in the fifth over. Likewise, Gupta sent Rahul Bhandari to the pavilion in the seventh over with an LBW.
Lumbini turned the tide in their favour in the 12th over after Mohammad Hasan took two wickets. He bowled out Basanta Karki in his second ball who had managed to score only seven runs. Two balls later, he also ended the hopes of Khadak Bohora on 21 runs with an LBW. Gupta then sent Sudur Paschim’s prolific batsman Arjun Saud for just nine runs.
Spinner Ajay Chauhan caused a batting order collapse of Sudur Paschim. He restricted Narayan Joshi for just 11 runs. Big-hitter Lokesh Bam was caught on a long-off by Birat Bhandari. Chauhan was the pick of bowlers with five wickets in 5.3 overs giving away 20 runs. Gupta took three wickets.
Earlier, Lumbini was invited to bat first after losing the toss and managed to score 212 runs in 50 overs losing all wickets. Lumbini’s skipper Dev Khanal was the top scorer with 70 runs from 95 balls that included five fours and four sixes.
Aakash Chand took the maximum three wickets for Lumbini in his ten-over spell giving away 47 runs. Likewise, Sher Malla and Hemant Dhami took two wickets each while Narendra Saud and Rahul Bhandari took a wicket apiece.
Lumbini had reached the final of the tournament with a top finish in the league round with 10 points from six matches that included five wins and a defeat. On the other hand, Sudur Paschim had secured their place in the final with a second-place finish in the league round with eight points. In the league round, Lumbini had defeated Sudur Paschim by one wicket.