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Lamichhane return boosts Melbourne Stars semi-final bid

Sandeep Lamichhane leaps into the arms of Glenn Maxwell Getty Images

Melbourne Stars can seal the last semi-final spot in the Big Bash with victory over Brisbane Heat on Friday and have been handed a significant boost with the return of Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane.

Lamichhane claimed eight wickets in four matches at the start of tournament with an economy rate of 6.81 before departing for the Bangladesh Premier League and then international duty with Nepal.

He claimed four wickets in six BPL matches for Sylhet Sixers then collected seven wickets in three ODIs against UAE and five wickets in three T20Is.

Lamichhane replaces England pace bowler Liam Plunkett who took 12 wickets in eight matches although conceded 8.22 per over.

With all their Australia players also available, the Stars are at what could be considered full strength for the final part of the BBL.

A win in either of their last two group matches will ensure the Stars a place in the semi-finals, but if they continue to slip up as they did against Perth Scorchers it could let in either Sydney Thunder or Brisbane Heat.