Asia Cup 2nd Match: Malinga leads Sri Lanka to victory in comeback match

Malinga finished with figures of 4-26 off his four overs

Malinga finished with figures of 4-26 off his four overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga marked his comeback to international cricket on a high as he took four wickets to lead his side to a 14-run win over the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Malinga, who hasn’t played since November last year, was well supported by wicketkeeper and opening batsman Dinesh Chandimal, who scored a brilliant 50.

UAE captain Amjad Javed would have been mulling over his decision to bowl first as Chandimal and Tillakaratne Dilshan set a solid foundation with 68-run partnership before Dilshan was dismissed by Javed for 27.

Following Dilshan’s dismissal, Sri Lanka began to collapse and had it not been for Chandimal’s knock of 50, which came off 39 balls and included seven boundaries and six, Sri Lanka would not have been able to register a score of 129/8 off their 20 overs.

Chandimal struck seven boundaries and a six during his innings of 50

Chandimal struck seven boundaries and a six during his innings of 50

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Javed was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Mohammad Naveed and Mohammad Shahzad snapped up two wickets apiece. Rohan Mustafa meanwhile chipped in with one wicket.

Chasing 130 to win, Malinga trapped Mustafa lbw on the very first ball of UAE’s innings before cleaning up Shahzad just five balls later.

UAE wicketkeeper Swapnil Patil looked to pose the biggest threat to Sri Lanka, but his innings came to an end on 37 when he was caught and bowled by Malinga.

Once Patil was gone, the UAE fell apart and were restricted to 115/9 off their 20 overs.

Malinga was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Nuwan Kulasekara took three and Rangana Herath claimed two.

Despite the loss, Javed lauded his side for putting up a valiant fight, and said: “The whole game was excellent. We put them [Sri Lanka] under pressure with the bowling. It was a big set back to lose two wickets to Malinga in the first over. Then we lost two more wickets and it is always difficult to chase. We have a match tomorrow. We will come back and try to do our best.”

Malinga, who was named Man of the Match, was relieved to have escaped with a win, and said: “I am not alright. I have still not fully recovered. I wanted to play this match and help the other players and show them you can do whatever the team needs. I have good experience playing international cricket and IPL. Sanga and Mahela have experience, we will have to give time to the youngsters.”

Leave a Reply