Having received very little game time in the middle during this IPL season, Delhi Capitals leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane made his rare opportunity count on Saturday (April 20) against Kings XI Punjab and the 18-year-old from Nepal is now desperate to further "prove" himself at every chance.
Lamichhane scalped three wickets, including the one of an in-form Chris Gayle, and returned with match-figures of 3/40 to help Delhi clinch a five-wicket victory - its sixth win of the tournament - at the end.
"I have always wanted to do my job. I have to prove myself every time I get my chance," he said at the post-match press conference.
Sandeep has only played five off Delhi's 10 games in the tournament thus far. He tallies eight wickets at an average of 21.75 and an economy rate of 8.70. But the teenage wrist-spinner hasn't let it mentally affect him.
"Sometimes it feels disappointing (being not picked in the playing XI), but at the end of the day, you need good reserves and I think they have got much more knowledge on cricket," he added.
"They have plans in their minds and that's why they chose different playing XIs. You just need to keep improving."
This game in the capital city saw another turning pitch at the Kotla, which Sandeep also exploited nicely. Punjab did score a fine total of 163/7 in its alloted 20 overs, but later succumbed to an easy defeat with the home team chasing the 164-run target down quite comfortably despite the surface, because of all the dew around under-lights.
"Pitch was good today, it was turning a bit at the start but after that it was coming nicely onto the bat. The poor bowling today was due to dew factor and it was really wet and hard to grip," Lamichhane stressed.
"Pretty happy with the pitch, it will be a good game if we get these kinds of wickets, but there was dew and that was the main factor tonight. Gripping was difficult, but there was turn on the pitch."
(Inputs from PTI)