Captain Binod Das guided Region No 2 for an amazing three-wicket win against debutant Region No 6 Baitadi in an exciting match that saw many records tumble on the second day of the Birendra Memorial National League cricket tournament at the TU Cricket Ground today.
Man of the match Binod scored a brilliant run-a-ball century, unbeaten 115, to save his team single-handedly from the blushes of losing to a debutant team. Baitadi, who elected to bat first, scored 212/7 in allotted 45 overs despite the early setback of losing three wickets for 19 runs. Birgunj lost four wickets in 30 runs and fifth on 80 before Binod finally came to rescue.
Binod completed his half-century in 65 balls and utilized three dropped catches to score the only second century in the tournamentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s history. He was dropped at deep square leg by Deepak Budal on 51 and at mid-off by Mahesh Poudel on 86. In between, Baitadi captain Dhirendra Chand nearly took a difficult catch at the deep mid-wicket diving forward.
Apart from a few air-balls, Binod played flawless innings according to the need of situation. He completed century in 105 balls pushing Dhirendra for a single at cover-point.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was my day,Ã¢â‚¬Â Binod said after the win. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I wanted to stay until the end which I did.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Binod shared a record seventh wicket partnership with Sanjam Regmi adding 90 runs to break the previous best of 48 by his Bikash Dali and Prakash Sharma. However, the record was also broken in the first innings when Dhirendra and Suraj Bhandari shared a 50-run partnership. Sanjam scored 28 off 45 balls with a boundary and was out when his team needed just six runs to win.
Apart from Binod and Sanjam, no other Birgunj batsmen stayed long with Sanjay Lama and Shovakant Pandey scoring 17 and 13 respectively. Baitadi bowlers did the praiseworthy job and if they hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t missed Binod catches, they would have emerged the winners.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Binod played a brilliant innings, a sensible one,Ã¢â‚¬Â national coach Roy Dias praised his vice-captain. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is a type of innings I want every my players to play.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Earlier, BaitadiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decision to bat first looked a disastrous one when they lost opener Deepak Budal on the first ball of the innings off Rajiv Shrestha. Binod then removed Dhan Bahadur Chhetri in the second over to reduce Baitadi to 1/2. When other opener Deepak Malla gave a return catch to Binod, it looked like the game would finish soon.
But all that thoughts proved wrong as Prem Chadhary and Arjun Rawal partnered for the record fifth-wicket partnership of 99 runs. They broke yesterdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s record of 84 runs by Gyanendra Malla and Raj Shrestha of Kathmandu. Prem fell to spinner Suraj Timilsina on 30 off 61 balls while Arjun went on to scored 73 before being bowled by part-time bowler Kaniska Chaugai. Arjun played 102 balls and scored 7 fours and a six.
Later, Dhirendra played an unbeaten innings of 54 off 70 and Suraj Bhandari added 25 off 17 balls before being run out on the last ball of the innings to amass a challenging total. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Seamers bowled well for us, but spinners couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t continue the momentum,Ã¢â‚¬Â Binod said.
Dhirendra was happy with the spirited performance by his team. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We did very well, however some fielding let us down,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said adding that his boys played as a unit.