When Nepalese Smiled – VIVO IPL 2018


Sandeep Lamichhane played his first ever IPL match. Yes, finally he played his first ever IPL match. And bowled brilliantly to procure an excellent figure of (4-0-25-1) that included Parthiv Patel’s wicket in a high scoring chase.

No one, even Sandeep Lamichhane might not had imagined this four month ago. Credit goes to Daredevils’ scouting team who recognized the talent and let him showcase it on global platform. It was not less than dream for 17-years old boy and Nepalese fans, who were celebrating IPL since it’s first edition. It was a very historical moment which is very sentimental  to illustrate in words.

Fans Calling

It was 12th May. Delhi Daredevils was taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore. It was around 11am and my hope touched the sky-height when Daredevils’ posted their bowling coach’s statement on social media. “These next three games are good opportunity to possibly see some of these guys, especially Junior Dala and Sandeep in action”, James Hopes – DD’s bowling coach. It was Saturday (Off-Day in Nepal), I was just passing my time doing nothing but my mind was totally busy on it’s own business.


Many cinematic visual were running in my mind. Sometime I imagined Lamichhane bagging fifer, sometime my mind was creating visual where Lamichhane bowling to modern’s great, De Villiers and Kohli. Even imagination were sweet but trusting the fact that it will come true tonight making it even sweeter. I was already sewing big dream, but it got even bigger when Daredevils’ posted yet another picture of Lamichhane with caption of “Training done”. I was roaming in colony and chilling with my mates but nothing was shadowing Lamichhane’s debut’s imagination. I took dinner a bit earlier and finished up my every other routine.

I tuned on the television and switch on Star Sports. It was broadcasting KKR vs KXIP match. My eyes were sending it’s visual to my mind, but my mind wasn’t accepting it and it asked my hands to switch on Espncricinfo on my phone. Commentators were shouting with every twist and turn of on-going match but honestly my mind wasn’t accepting information passed by my ears. Yes, it was toss time where RCB won and elected to field. My mind was blank and it was just asking to refresh Cricinfo’s RCB vs DD’s home page. And finally I got my desired news, “Alright it’s confirmed, Sandeep Lamichhane will debut.”, as it appeared on Cricinfo,I jumped on the air and shout with joy.

Match got commenced, Chahal was about to bowl the first over and Roy and Shaw came out to open the inning for DD. But my mind was running far ahead as it was creating second innings’ pictures. If it was possible to peep towards dug-out from TV’s monitor then I would have doing it throughout the inning.

RCB was asked to score 182 runs from 120 balls. DD’s players entered the ground. Clarke was already praising Lamichhane. And and.. surprising Lamichhane got to open the inning for Daredevils. I was on sofa of my sitting room, but I couldn’t stop myself from standing in it and moving an inch forward towards my TV with  prayers for Lamichhane. Parthiv Patel and Mooen Ali were on the crease. He was coping under pressure and just expensed 2 runs with one ball missed a stump by inch. Kohli joined the crease after departure of Ali. Lamichhane continued…
Virat Kohli – the best batsman in the world, the man touted to break all of Sachin Tendulkar’s ODI records, the only man to average over 50 across international formats was on strike on his home soil. Lamichhane tossed up where Kohli failed to find gap in first delivery. Kohli rotated and Lamichhane sent back Patel in 4th delivery after conceding boundary.

Nice and full, attacking the stump and umpire raise his finger. I jumped thrice in the air before shouting hard. I phoned my mate and laughed along with them with deep relief. Now came De Villiers, and and Villiers mis-read Lamichhane in the first bowl, he faced. The match was going but I was walking here and there inside my room with full of imagination of Lamichhane’s third over. And he came back for his 3rd over during 7th over when Kohli was on mood. Kohli smashed Lamichhane on the very first delivery through the cover and after then, Lamichhane didn’t let AB-Kohli to play shots freely as he expensed 8 runs off that over, despite of boundary off the first ball.

Lamichhane came back again for his last over when both AB-Kohli was on tune, batting on 33 and 57 runs respectively. Four singles off first four deliveries and AB topped edge Lamichhane’s fifth one but unfortunately it sealed just over the rope. Dot ball concluded the Lamichhane spell where “well bowled and good night out there for young man” from Bishop (commentator from West Indies) concluded the final show of my lovable day of imagination and reality.

(Above “I” represent million of Nepalese fans)

That was fine spell from debutant Sandeep Lamichhane. Remember the fact that he is just 17 and from associate nation. When all of the well established bowlers were leaking runs at very high economy in front of two of modern’s great, De Villiers and Kohli.

Lamichhane against Kohli-De Villiers
-Star Sports

He managed to skip through their show and even troubled De Villiers on some occasion. He bowled 8 balls against Kohli and gave away just 9 runs off it where he gave away 10 runs against De Villiers on same number of deliveries. This shows the  great display of his intensity that will help him to settle  in DD’s squad for coming edition. And surely his performance might have raised the eye-brow of many franchise teams’ management in the world. And if he keep up his performance then, we might see him featuring on other famous leagues around the world. After all, his learning curve with best players and coaching staff of the world will promote Nepali cricket. Welcome to the world cricket,” SANDEEP LAMICHHANE”


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