Lamichhane moves atop as Stars open account

  • Big Bash League
- Adarsha Dhakal, Kathmandu

Dec 28, 2018-

Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane climbed at the top of the highest wicket-takers’ list in the Australian Big Bash League as the Nepali leg-spinner’s another mesmerising performance handed Melbourne Stars their first victory in the Twenty20 tournament.

Lamichhane bowled effectively to take 2-18 from four overs as Stars’ search for win finally ended in the third game with a five-wicket victory over Sydney Sixers at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Lamichhane went into the game with five wickets to his name from two matches and now has seven to join Sixers’ Steeve O’Keefe in the list of tournament’s leading wicket taker. 

The victory lifted Stars to the fourth spot in eight-team standings but it was the 18-year old Lamichhane who stole the show with the calmness and confidence he put on display. Skipper Glenn Maxwell introduced Lamichhane in the seventh over and he conceded six runs without taking any wicket. 

He came back in the ninth to get rid of Sixers captain Moises Henriques, who was trapped leg before wicket (LBW) with a brilliant wrong one that was pitched outside the off stump. Lamichhane ended up conceding just four runs in that over. The Nepali star came again in the 12th over and contained Tom Curran and Jordan Silk before striking in the last ball. A slice of luck was involved in his second dismissal as Stars fielders appealed for another LBW decision against Curran and although replays suggested the ball was about to miss the leg stump, the English batsman was given out.

The only time Lamichhane was hit for a boundary was in his last over after Sean Abott got a thick edge of his wide leg break ball. Lamichhane could have had his third in the game when his loud LBW appeal against Silk was turned down despite the ball hitting leg stump. 

Lamichhane, whose last over went for nine runs, bowled 11 dot deliveries. Silk top scored for Sixers scoring an unbeaten 41 from 37 deliveries with two hits to the fence. Jackson Coleman (3-18) and Dwayne Bravo (2-28) also shared five wickets between them as Sixers were restricted to a below par 130-9 in 20 overs. 

Peter Handscomb did the rest for Stars after the opener smashed a quickfire 35-ball 70 leading his team to 132-5 with 31 balls to spare. Handscomb’s display of brutal hitting included nine boundaries and three sixes. In a Melbourne derby on January 1, Stars will take on Renegades.

Published: 28-12-2018 07:18

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