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Sandeep returns to domestic cricket with man-of-the-match performance

Sandeep Lamichhane’s return to Nepal’s domestic cricket started on a bright note after the star leg spinners gave an all round performance smashing a 20-ball 42 and picking up three wickets leading Mayor XI to a huge 94-run victory over Bagmati Province in the Mayor Cup on Sunday.

At the Mulpani Cricket Ground, Sandeep’s whirlwind knock was the cornerstone in Mayor XI revival as the assembled team from the best players of Prime Minister Cup fought back hard to reach 244-9 from a precarious 43-5.

Bagmati, in reply, were bundled out for a paltry 150 in 34.3 overs. The result means Bagmati will now face an uphill task to reach the final of the five-team tournament where only the top two make it through for the title match.

Prithu Baskota top scored for Bagmati with 60 runs as Bipin Khatri broke the backbone of their batting getting rid of skipper Gyanendra Malla (17) and Paras Khadka (10).

Prithu Baskota, regained his form after two barren spell in domestic games, and tried to resurrect the Bagmati innings with Ishan Pandey (17) but Sandeep ended the stand with the dismissal of latter and Bipin Acharya (naught) in consecutive deliveries.

Prithu made a fighting 60 off 79 balls hitting eight boundaries before he was bowled by left arm spinner Anil Kharel. Sandeep returned the figures of 3-40.

Mayor XI revival began with 71-run partnership between Siddhant Lohani and Sandep Rajali but both fell in a space of five runs as they were 119-7 by the 34th over.

Sandeep, who took the leadership of the side overnight after coming out of the quarantine at the Pakistan Super League, made batting look easy smashing six sixes as rest of the batting order began to find their feet.

Sandeep was the majority of scorer in a 57-run partnership with Saurav Khanal. Saurav played role of a perfect anchor and went on to add another 50 runs with Bipin Khatri who struck a 30-ball 32 with two sixes and a four. Saurav was unbeaten on 58-ball 49 that included six boundaries and a maximum.

Nandan Yadav was the pick of the Bagmati bowlers with the figures of 4-41, while Ramnaresh Giri and Ariyo Poudel took two wickets apiece.

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