Dubai: Through a brilliant exhibition of leg spin and googly, Lahore Qalandars’ Sandeep Lamichhane wrecked Quetta Gladiators to secure an eight-wicket victory for his team in the 17th match of the Pakistan Super League at the Dubai International Stadium.
It was a treat to watch this 18-year-old Nepalese trap Quetta’s top-order batsmen with his tricks and return with stunning figures of 4-10 from his four overs. Chasing a moderate 107 to win, Lahore recovered from the loss of openers Fakhar Zaman (2) and Gauhar Ali (21), with AB de Villiers scoring an unbeaten 47 and Harris Sohail adding 33 not out to register a comfortable victory with 21 balls to spare. The pair put on an unbroken 74-run partnership in 11.4 overs for the third wicket.
Batting first, Quetta opener Ahsan Ali hit the first four of the day by cutting Yasir Shah’s last delivery of his first over. In the third over, Ahsan opened out and hit Yasir for two sixes and two boundaries to take 20 runs off the over. At the score on 33 Lamichhane picked his first wicket trapping Shane Watson for 7.
In the sixth over, Lamichhane struck again forcing Rilee Rossouw to play into the hands of David Wiese at point. When Lamichhane also removed in-form Umar Akmal for 1, clean bowling him with a googly, Quetta were in trouble.
Losing three wickets before the 50-run mark in seven overs, Danish Aziz joined Ahsan but Lamichhane had Aziz caught at slip off his glove by Haris Sohail for 1. When Ahsan, who kept the scoreboard moving, was run out for 33, half the side was back in pavilion before the halfway mark.
Sarfraz Ahmad and Mohammad Nawaz added 37 runs in the next 5.5 overs for the sixth wicket before Nawaz lifted Wiese to de Villiers at deep midwicket. The regular fall of wickets dipped the run flow.
Yasir forced Sarfraz to slog sweep to Lamichhane at deep midwicket for 29. Quetta reached the 100-run mark losing seven wickets in 16.3 overs.
Quetta’s innings ended when Haris Rauf clean bowled Fawad Ahmad with sheer pace and also ran out next man Mohammad Hasnain for a duck and Shaheen Afridi hitting the stumps of Sohail Tanvir for 7.
Chasing the score. Lahore were off to a shocking start with their star batsman Fakhar Zaman getting dismissed for 2 as Hasnain got him caught by Ashan at cover. Opener Gohar Ali and Haris Sohail added 29 runs in 3.4 overs when left-arm pacer Harrey Gurney clean bowled Gohar for 21.
AB de Villiers and Sohail batted with no hurry and took the team to the target.