Sandeep Lamichhane’s sparkling spell of bowling set the platform for an eight-wicket win for Lahore Qalandars over Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League.
The 18-year-old leg-spinner from Nepal took 4-10 from his four overs as the league-leaders crumbled to 106 all out at the Dubai International Stadium.
AB de Villiers then made 47 not out as Lahore made easy work of the chase, sealing the win with 21 balls to spare.
Lamichhane’s return was not only remarkable for the number of wickets and its economy, but more so for the calibre of the players dismissed.
The haul included Umar Akmal, Shane Watson and Rilee Rossouw – who are the first, third, and sixth leading run-scorers in the competition respectively.
His excellence cut a contrast to his leg-spin partner and senior playing colleague Yasir Shah. Lamichhane entered the attack in the over after Yasir had been taken for 20 by Ahsan Ali.
After Lamichhane then quelled Quetta’s onslaught, Yasir returned to take a wicket – and even then he had his Nepali colleague to thank, following a smart, running catch on the boundary by the teenager.
Haris Rauf maintained his own fine start to life in the spotlight, with another eye-catching display with the ball for Lahore. The fast bowler took two for 23, and affected a run out.
Fakhar Zaman captained Lahore, even though De Villiers, who had filled the role last time out, had recovered from the back injury sustained in that game.
Fakhar gave Quetta's debutant fast bowler Mohammed Tasnain a wicket in his first over of PSL cricket, as Lahore made a nervy start to their run-chase.
De Villiers, though, eased any concerns as he guided the resurgent Qalandars to their third win in the competition.