Lasith Malinga, who is well known as death bowler specialist announced retirement on July 26 on his home soil. He played his last white-ball match against Bangladesh and produced some outstanding bowling display on the 22-yard Premadasa strip. Here are some of the top 5 best performances of Lasith Malinga's ODI career.
1. 2007 World Cup Against South Africa
In the 2007 World Cup super 8 match between Sri Lanka and South Africa, the Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene opted to bat first and Lanka were all-out for 209 runs. It was a very comfortable run chase for Proteas and at the end of the match South Africa needed only 4 runs with 32 balls left and 5 wickets in hand.
The Sri Lankan speedster Malinga came into bowling and his wonderful bowling perforrmance stun the cricketing world as he took four wickets in 4 consecutive balls and made South Africa impossible to chase the easy target.
But luckily the last wicket pair of RJ Peterson and CK Langeveldt chased the score in high tense moment. Malinga was awarded MOM with South Africa's player Charl Langeveldt.
2. 2014 Asia Cup Against Pakistan
In the 2014 Asia Cup match against Pakistan, Sri Lanka elected to bat first and scored 296 runs with the loss of 6 wickets.
Chasing a massive target by the Pakistan batsmen, at one stage of the match Pakistan were struggling at 121 for 4. Umar Akmal and Misbah Ul Haq has made a good partnership and team has a good chance of winning in the group stage but Lasith Malinga hit the hopes of Pakistan Cricket team with his spectacular bowling.
When the right arm fast bowler came into bowling and took Afridi and Misbah wickets in the same over as he was dismissed Pakistan's key wickets in the game. With his efforts, Sri Lanka won the game by 12 runs. He produced one of the best bowling figures (5-52) in his ODI career.
3. In the 2019 World Cup against England
In the 2019 World Cup game in the group stage, Sri Lanka stunned not only the England but also the whole world with their mind blowing performance.
Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first and scored 232 runs. It was an easy target for England to win the match as they are having great batting line up. For Sri Lanka, it was a difficult to defend 232 runs but the stylish bowler Malinga shown his calibre, potential and strength on English soil to defend a low target.
He first bagged the wickets of openers James Vince and Jonny Bairstow. After then, he returned in the middle overs and pick the main wickets of Joe Root and Jos Buttler and changed the whole situation favour to Sri Lanka. The visiting team registered 20 run win over home team and Malinga got MOM award for his four wicket haul. (4-43).
4. 2011 World Cup against Kenya
In the 2011 World Cup match against Kenya, Malinga bowled brilliantly and Kenya dismissed for only 142 runs. Malinga claimed 6 wickets including a hat-trick. He became the only bowler to take two hat-tricks in the world cup history. In that match, Malinga has registered his best ODI figures of 6-38.
5. 5-Match Series Against Aussies
In the 5-match ODI series between Australia and Sri Lanka, Aussies have won the first two matches in the series. In the third match, it was do or die situation for Sri Lanka.
Lanka batsmen scored 286 runs & Australia started the chase on a cautious note where Malinga claimed Shane Watson wicket in his beginning spell and later he dismissed Michael Clarke and Mike Hussy with his magical deliveries. And again, he bowled at the death overs and picked the wickets of Xavier Doherty and Doug Bollinger. Malinga helped Sri Lanka by picking 5 wickets and gave a memorable victory for his team.
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