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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

IPL 2018: Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane thrilled to play another decisive role in Delhi's victory - this time over Chennai

Leg-spinner takes 1-21 as Daredevils beat Super Kings by 34 runs in dead rubber

Delhi Daredevils leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, right, took the wicket of Chennai Super Kings batsman Suresh Raina on Friday night. Manish Swarup / AP Photo
Delhi Daredevils leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, right, took the wicket of Chennai Super Kings batsman Suresh Raina on Friday night. Manish Swarup / AP Photo

Sandeep Lamichhane played a key role as last-placed Delhi Daredevils thrashed title-chasing Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The 17-year-old leg-spinner is the first Nepal cricketer to play in the IPL.

Playing just his second match of the competition, he took 1-21 from his four overs, as Delhi claimed a 34-run win at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Friday night.

Although the win meant nothing as per the points table – Delhi remained bottom, while CSK are already assured a play-off place – it did provide further evidence of Lamichhane’s rich promise.

His wicket was the prized one of Suresh Raina, the India batsman who has scored more runs than anyone in IPL history apart from Virat Kohli.

Just as he had done on debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier in the week, the teenage spinner proved to be up for the challenge against some of the biggest names in the sport.

Kohli and AB de Villiers had only managed two boundaries between them off his bowling against RCB.

And Lamichhane’s miserly return against CSK was in spite of the fact he was bowling against Raina, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja for most of his four overs.

“They were well set at that moment and I was just trying to bowl my best ball,” Lamichhane said of his dismissal of Raina, in a post-match television interview. “On that occasion we got the wicket, and suddenly the game was changed from there.”

Lamichhane has enjoyed a meteoric rise so far in 2018. He was player of the tournament at the World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia in February, a competition won by UAE.

That was his first competitive cricket after finding out – while on a preparatory tour in Dubai - he had been selected to play in the IPL.

He then played a lead part as Nepal clinched one-day international status for the first time, at the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

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Read more:

Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane named in ICC World XI to face West Indies at Lord's

More players like Sandeep Lamichhane and Ireland's Kevin O'Brien needed in IPL

From Nepal to Delhi, Daredevils fan base grows on back of Sandeep Lamichhane

In pictures: Rising Nepal cricket star Sandeep Lamichhane trains ahead of the IPL

World Cup Qualifier 2018: Sandeep Lamichhane and the rest of the leg-spin cartel

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And between playing his first and second matches at the IPL he was announced as part of the IPL World XI squad for a charity match against West Indies, which will be played at Lord’s at the end of this month.

“I am enjoying [the experience] and would like to say thank you to each and every supporter, from back home in Nepal as well,” he said.

“They are supporting me and enjoying this IPL as well. Thanks to IPL for giving me this kind of exposure, and DD as well.”

Shreyas Iyer, the Delhi captain, said his side had been “craving” a win, which was just their fourth from the 13 matches they have played.

“With regards to preparation we have not been lacking since the start of the IPL,” Iyer said.

“We were up to the mark, it is just we weren’t able to execute what we were planning in the net sessions.

“All three departments weren’t clicking together. In the matches we have won, all three have clicked together.”

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