Under-19 World Cup 2016 January 30, 2016

Lamichhane: Nepal's right-arm leg-break googly bowler

Like his idol Shane Warne, Sandeep Lamichhane appears to have the full repertoire. With a hat-trick against Ireland to seal Nepal's place in the quarter-finals, he couldn't have asked for a better start to his career

Sandeep Lamichhane - "What was more important than the hat-trick was that we won an important game and qualified for the quarter-finals" © International Cricket Council

"I have leg-break, googly, flipper, top spin and zooter."

Sandeep Lamichhane's idol is Shane Warne so it is hardly surprising that the Nepal spinner says that he has the full repertoire. On his Twitter page, Lamichhane describes himself as "RIGHT ARM LEG BREAK GOOGLY BOWLER". So, now you know.

Lamichhane took a hat-trick in his five-wicket haul against Ireland, who were soundly beaten by eight wickets in Fatullah. The win meant Nepal have now booked a place in the last eight of the Under-19 World Cup for the first time. It is hard not to imagine the madness back home in Nepal, where cricket is now considered the No.1 sport.

In his first spell, Lamichhane removed Gary McClintock with a full delivery that the batsman drove straight to long-off. When he was brought back in the 32nd over, Lamichhane turned the game on its head with his hat-trick. The first of those wickets was that of Lorcan Tucker, who was caught by Dipendra Singh Airee at midwicket.

Next ball, Adam Dennison edged to the wicketkeeper and captain Raju Rijal before Fiachra Tucker became the hat-trick victim after he missed a straight ball. Lamichhane later added the wicket of William McClintock in the 34th over as Ireland slipped to 83 for 7, with Nepal's maiden quarter-final place nearly sealed.

It is likely that Lamichhane's hat-trick was the fifth in the Under-19 World Cup, after Jermaine Lawson (West Indies vs Zimbabwe, 2000), Kamrul Islam Rabbi (Bangladesh vs Ireland, 2010), Harry Conway (Australia v Nepal, 2012) and Kuldeep Yadav (India v Scotland, 2014). Lamichhane, who is from Chitwan in Nepal, however said that the win was more important than the hat-trick, which he was confident of grabbing after picking up the first two wickets in the 32nd over.

"It was awesome," Lamichhane told ESPNcricinfo. "When I got my third wicket, my single focus was on taking the hat-trick. This is my first time that I took one actually.

"What was more important than the hat-trick was that we won an important game and qualified for the quarter-finals. I hope we can continue the same way in other matches."

Lamichhane first heard of cricket before actually watching it on television. He had earlier taken 1 for 41 against New Zealand in the first group stage match, having already taken five wickets in the warm-up games.

"When I was young, I heard news of cricket in radio. And watched a lot of matches in television. My coach, the management and everyone in Nepal helped me in my cricket," he said.

In the space of two days in this competition, legspinner Lamichhane, left-arm spinner Mahipal Lomror and offspinner Wesley Madhevere have taken five-fors. It is as clear a sign as any that spin will slowly be more dominating in the tournament. Lamichhane, having got into the habit of taking wickets on Bangladeshi wickets, will no doubt be one to watch out for in the rest of the tournament.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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