KATHMANDU, June 12: Region No 3 Kathmandu held their nerves to win the Springwood National T20 Cricket Tournament defeating Region No 4 Bhairahawa by three runs in a nail-biting finish at the TU Cricket Ground on Friday.
Bhairahawa came close to victory but lost three wickets in the last two overs, in which they needed 10 runs to become champions, to face a three-run loss.
In the 19th over bowled by captain Paras Khadka, Bhairahawa took a run each in the first five balls and lost Rahul BK in the last ball as run-out victim.
Paras tossed the ball to Dipendra Chaudhary for the last over and the decision proved vital as the veteran all-rounder gave just a run in five balls as the last two batsmen ran out themselves. Manoj Vhaishya (8) hit a ball at long-on and took a chance for a second run but fell, giving Kathmandu a tight victory. Bhairahawa were bowled out for 91 in 19.5 overs.
Bhairahawa began collapsing from early on with Paras Khadka and Abhaya Rana removing both openers in the first two overs. Sagar Pun was out for a duck in the first over of Paras while Abhaya removed Faizal Khan for 3 in the second over. Antim Thapa followed suit as Bhairahawa were left crippled at 9/3 in 4 overs.
However, Bhairahawa´s middle order then tried to calm down the situation. Basanta Regmi (15), Sagar Khadka (12), Shakti Gauchan (18) and top scorer Akash Gupta, who scored 22 off 14 balls with two sixes and a four, took the team very close to the target before the drama happened.
Abhaya Rana spearheaded the bowling attack with three wickets while Rom Shrestha and Raju Basnet also grabbed two wickets each. Paras Khadka had one scalp.
Earlier, Kathmandu won the toss and elected to bat first. Apart from the two openers, Dipendra Chaudhary (23) and Paresh Lohani (22), no other batsmen contributed much failing to reach double-digit as the team was bowled out for 94 in 19.3 overs.
Chaudhary faced 28 balls in his knock while Lohani faced only 15 deliveries. After the fall of Lohani at 31, Kathmandu´s innings began to collapse. Eleven extra runs were the third best score in the inning which proved crucial in the later stage.
Bhairahawa captain Shakti Gauchan led from the front with four wickets giving away just 14 runs in his spell of 3.3 overs. Sagar Khadka, Amrit Bhattarai, Rahul BK and Basanta Regmi took one scalp each.
Kathmandu received a cash prize of Rs 75,000 while Bhairahawa got Rs 40,000. Paresh was declared the best batsman of the tournament and awarded Rs 10,000 for scoring 175 runs at an average of 58.33.
Shakti Gauchan was adjudged the best bowler of the tournament. The losing captain also received Rs 10,000 for his 9 wickets in 5 matches prior to the final.
Dipendra Chaudhary grabbed the man-of-the-series award and Rs 15,000 for his all round performance. He scored 194 runs in 6 matches and took 7 wickets.