Lamichhane, Maxwell steer Stars to semisA brilliant bowling from Nepali leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane coupled with an equally superb batting from Australian big-hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell steered Melbourne Stars to the semi-finals of the Big Bash League (BBL) Twenty20 Tournament with a 94-run thrashing of Sydney Sixers in Melbourne on Sunday.
A brilliant bowling from Nepali leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane coupled with an equally superb batting from Australian big-hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell steered Melbourne Stars to the semi-finals of the Big Bash League (BBL) Twenty20 Tournament with a 94-run thrashing of Sydney Sixers in Melbourne on Sunday.
Batting first at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Stars rode on a whirlwind knock from skipper Maxwell to post a respectable 168-6 in 20-overs. In reply Sixers, who were already assured of the last-four berth, were bowled out for a paltry 74 in 13.4 thanks to a disciplined bowling from the Stars.
Man-of-the-match Maxwell scored a quickfire 82 with six sixes and four boundaries in his 43-ball knock. Opener Marcus Stoinis struck 23-ball 43 and No 3 batsman Peter Handscomb made a sedate 35 off 34 deliveries. Tom Curan took two while Ben Dwarshuis, Sean Abbott and Steve O’Keefe claimed one wicket each for Sixers.
Lamichhane, who was returning to BBL after fulfilling national team duties, had his work cut out when he was handed the ball in the 8th over with Sixers’ half the team already back into the dugout. Lamichhane had left Australia on January 1 having taken eight wickets in four matches and the wonder kid from Nepal claimed three more scalps on his return for Stars on Sunday. He conceded just one run in his first over while also trapping Curran leg before wicket (LBW) with the wrong’un.
Lamichhane went wicketless in his next over, the 10th, where he conceded six runs before adding another scalp of Dwarshuis in the 12th over where he gave away just one run. He deceived Dwarshuis with another wrong’un and the batsman edged the ball to slips for Maxwell to complete the catch. With Sixers already staring at defeat at 70-9, the Nepali star came back to bowl the 14th over. He conceded the first and the only boundary of the match when Lloyd Pope hit him for a four in the second ball of the over. But Lamichhane had the last laugh having Pope caught at the covers by Stoinis to end the match. He finished with figures of 3-11 in 3.4 overs. Daniel Worrall and Adam Zampa also claimed two wickets each for the Stars.
Since returning from Australia on January 1, Lamichhane also played eight matches Sylhet Sixers in the Bangladesh Premier League before joining the national team for One-Day and Twenty20 Internationals series against the United Arab Emirates on January 25-February 3 in Dubai. Nepal won both the series 2-1.
Melbourne Stars will play the table-toppers Hobart Hurricanes in the first semi-finals on February 14. Melbourne Renegades are up against Sydney Sixers in the second semi-final clash the very next day.