Michael Clarke cleaned up a nice six-wicket victory over Mosman this weekend - but he fell short of the perfect return to grade cricket.

The former national test skipper was left stranded on 99 not out at the close of play - one short of his first century since 2015.

Everything seemed set in place for him to hit the winning runs and bring up his century in one fell swoop, but a full-toss ball away by his batting partner to seal the victory denied him the chance to raise the bat.

The 35-year-old led his side in typical fashion, placing handy field changes to dismiss Mosman for a lowly total of 141, cricket.com.au reported.


Clarke faced a barrage of sledging from Mosman supporters who were heard yelling "get ready for a broken f***ing arm", in reference to his famous assault on England's Jimmy Anderson in the 2013-14 Ashes series.

Clarke left his traditional spot at number five and pushed himself up to open the innings for Western Suburbs - but it wasn't the pace that him flustered.

He narrowly avoided being stumped after the Mosman keeper fumbled a take from their left-arm orthodox bowler in the first ball after drinks.

Clarke's hand-picked protege Sandeep Lamichhane had an impressive debut in first grade, taking a respectable 1-17.

Clarke brought the 16-year-old over to Australia after spotting his talent in Hong Kong's T20 tournament earlier in the year.

The plucky young wrist-spinner has a lot to offer according to Clarke, sporting a handy wrong-un and a deep knowledge for the game well beyond his years.

Lamichhane could be set to fill the huge leg-spinner void in Australia's international unit if he continues to impress.

"I think that mind, he's got cricketing experience that he's unaware of at the moment," Clarke said.

"I think that's going to be his greatest strength. To be able to bowl out of the back of the hand is one thing, but to know what you're doing is another."

"I think today was a little glimpse of what's to come. I don't want to put any pressure on him.

"He loves the game as much as anyone I've seen and that's what I think is important.

Lamichhane has already revealed his dream to play in the Big Bash, and as a self-confessed cricket tragic, he may not be too far off his goal.

"You can see it's like oxygen to me, because without cricket I can't live," he said.