ABU DHABI: Sandeep Lamichhane’s career-best T20 figures of 4 for 10 decimated first-place Quetta Gladiators’ promising start in the Powerplay as Lahore Qalandars rode on the Nepal legspinner’ the back to an eight-wicket win in Dubai. Lamichanne came to bowl in the fourth over and reduced Gladiators from 33 for 0 to 47 for 4 after just 15 balls, just missing a fifth as Sarfaraz Ahmed barely survived his first ball.
Gladiators found it difficult to recover after Lamichhane’s match-turning spell, eventually subsiding for 106 in 19.1 overs. Despite a modest start to their chase – both openers fell cheaply to end the Powerplay at 35 for 2 – Haris Sohail and AB de Villiers added an unbroken 74 for the third wicket as Qalandars coasted across the line with 21 balls to spare to win the rematch between the two sides after Gladiators’ last-ball three-wicket win on Saturday in Sharjah.
Lamichhane successfully convinced his captain Fakhar Zaman to review a not-out decision in the nick of time against Shane Watson four balls into the fourth over. Replays indicated the skiddy delivery struck Watson’s pad fractionally before the bat as he went onto the back foot to cut and three red lights meant Watson was out lbw. It was the moment that sparked Lamichhane’s haul.
Ahsan Ali was holding firm on 33 at the non-striker’s end in the face of Lamichhane’s spell, but Sarfaraz’s dicey call for a two to long-on resulted in Ahsan being run-out by three yards, thanks to a sharp relay from David Wiese to Fakhar Zaman at the non-striker’s end to make it 53 for 5.
Lamichhane was at it in the field too, pulling off an outstanding catch on the run at deep midwicket to claim Sarfaraz’s slog sweep off Yasir Shah for 29. Besides him and Ahsan, nobody else made more than 12 for Gladiators.
No brainer for Lamichhane. After the sharp call for DRS to get Watson, Rilee Rossouw sliced a drive to backward point for his second wicket. The creme de la creme was his googly that bowled Umar Akmal through the gate. He capped his haul by stifling Danish Aziz with a series of googlies spinning away from the left-hand batsman before an attempted reverse sweep backfired, gloving a catch to slip.
The big miss
One of the few blemishes on the day for Qalandars came in the 18th over when Sohail Tanvir flicked Shaheen Afridi to deep midwicket but Sohail Akhtar spilled a straightforward chance. Afridi got his revenge yorking Tanvir to start the 20th.
Where the teams stand
Gladiators have now two straight losses after winning four out of four to begin PSL 2019. But they remain in the first place, two points ahead of Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United. Qalandars are officially fourth, having an inferior net run rate to Zalmi and United with all three on six points.