CPL Associate Watch, Day 4: Lamichhane can’t be hit, Saad takes a step back

Sandeep Lamichhane CPL 2019

Only two Associate players got time on Day 4, as Canada’s Saad Bin Zafar was again in the eleven for the Zouks, and Sandeep Lamichhane continued to star for Jamaica.

Saad Bin Zafar, Canadian all rounder, seen here with St. Lucia Zouks (photo: CPL)

In the early game, Saad Bin Zafar once again bowled in the power play for St. Lucia Zouks, bowling the second over to a hungry St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots opening pair. Unlike his efficient powerplay in Day 3, Saad was hit. Chris Lynn began the over with a double to deep cover, followed by a pull that evaded a sleepy square leg fielder for four before handing over strike to Evin Lewis with a single to the leg side. Lewis did even better, smashing a four and a six down the ground before finessing the final delivery to backward point for four again. Sadly, this would be Saad’s lone over for the game, as Mohammad Nabi and Roston Chase dominated from there. Saad ended the innings with the one over for 21 runs and no wickets.

In the first innings, Saad got his batting debut in the CPL, coming in for Cornwall in the 18th over. Saad scored one run on his second ball, a quick single to point to get Mohammad Nabi on strike. From that point, Nabi took control and pummeled 28 runs off the final 10 balls to give the Zouks a very competitive total of 172, which they defended and won by a margin of 10.

Sandeep Lamichhane, Nepal and Jamaica Tallawahs (Photo: CPL)

On Day 3, I mentioned that a Sandeep Lamichhane “bad day” is the kind of bad day most bowlers would take. On Day 4, he had the kind of good day that most bowlers only pray for. From the time he entered in the 9th over to his final ball in the 15th, the Nepali Nightmare haunted Guyana’s batsmen, reminding us that it’s all risk and no reward when Sandy is on his day.

Sandeep’s first over featured a steady dose of googlies played into the field for only 2 runs by Sherfane Rutherford and Ross Taylor. Continuing in the 11th, Sandeep tempted Rutherford with a short and wide googly that the lefty couldn’t get much of, and it was caught easily at short third man by Mujeeb. The over would end with four dot balls to fresh meat Keemo Paul. In the 13th, Taylor and Paul had to settle for 3, as Paul struggled to guess the correct delivery and played at the air. After Brathwaite put Keemu Paul out of his misery in the 14th, Sandy doubled the trouble by bowling Chris Green behind his legs in the 15th. Dipping and pitching a bit less full than the shuffling Green expected, the ball turned from middle and leg just enough to uproot leg stump and put Guyana in a 93/7 hole. Sandeep ended with the mind-bending figures of 4 overs, 8 runs, 1 wide, 2 wickets, and also faced 3 balls with the bat for zero runs before being out LBW to Imran Tahir.

Sadly for Sandeep, Jamaica’s batting fell just short of the puny target of 119. Andre Russell (52 off of 37), backing himself as apathetically as possible, was within striking range but failed to convert. After taking Jamaica to 22 needed off of the final 10 balls, Russell waved off singles, lost his shape, swung and missed, and scored only once (a six) from his 9 ball share.

In a game which had no shortage of careless superstars, three players from underdog nations stood tall: Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane, and Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman (4 overs, 18 runs, 3 wickets) and Naveen-Ul-Haq (4 overs, 22 runs, 1 wicket). This is a trend we wouldn’t be surprised to see take shape, so please stay tuned for more.

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