A Queenstown senior cricketer had the bowling spell of his life last Saturday – but still his team didn’t win.
Playing Alexandra at the Events Centre, medium-fast bowler Dipen Tandel took 6 for 27, snaring his last five wickets from only seven balls.
After a last-ball wicket off his previous over, the 28-year took wickets off the first, third, fifth and sixth deliveries of his next over.
The last two balls were inswinging yorkers that shattered the base of off-stump.
Bowling colleague Eric Standfield took a wicket on each ball either side of Tandel’s amazing over, as Alexandra plummeted from 117 for 3 to 119 all out.
Tandel twice sat on a hat-trick, and Standfield once, before the innings closed.
“I’ve seen some collapses, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” Queenstown captain Jarred Andrew says.
“[Tandel] was just too quick for anyone batting lower than four, really.”
Frustratingly, Queens-town were then skittled for 116, three runs shy of Alexandra’s total.
Tandel, who’s in his fourth season for Queenstown, says the bowling figures are his best since arriving in New Zealand from Mumbai, India, in 2005 – he once took 6 for 18 as a schoolboy.
He was “quite surprised” by last Saturday’s haul because his night-portering job doesn’t give him time to train.
“For about two or three overs I bowled too short, then I tried to pitch it up, the swing came and I got my rhythm back.”
Tandel has kept the match ball as a memento.
“I’ll practise with this”, he says.
Andrew says Tandel is “like a bowling machine – you just flick on a switch and away he goes”.
“He’s just naturally talented.”
Unfortunately Queens-town’s star bowler is unavailable for Queenstown’s Koford Cup fixture on Saturday – an away game against Cromwell.