Duke of York
COLOMBO – Demolition man Lasith Malinga became the first bowler to pick up two hat-tricks at World Cups as he led Sri Lanka to a nine-wicket flattening of Kenya yesterday.
The seamer, who missed his side’s opening two Group A matches with a sore back, roared back with the wickets of Tanmay Mishra (0), Peter Ongondo (0) and Shem Ngoche (0) with successive, full deliveries, the latter two clean-bowled.
After finishing with a career-best six for 38 to dismiss the Africans for 142, a relaxed Malinga sat back in the pavilion and watched his teammates barely break sweat as they overhauled the total in just 18.4 overs.
In 2007, Malinga grabbed four in a row against South Africa.“
Lasith, as usual, the champion that he is, the ball reversing, he did a great job for us,” summed up Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, whose team finished on 146 for one.
His Kenyan counterpart Jimmy Kamande was equally impressed.
“We know Malinga, we have seen him before, though we haven’t played against him. He’s a world-class bowler and congrats to him for the hat-trick and all the wickets he got today.”
It was the second hat-trick in two days at the World Cup after Kemar Roach took the last three Dutch wickets in West Indies’ 215-run victory in Group B on Monday. This was the seventh hat-trick in a World Cup.
The last time the teams met in the tournament, Sri Lanka suffered a shock 53-run defeat in 2003.
However, an unstoppable Malinga made sure there would be no repeat of that result.
Kenya crumbled from a respectable 102 for two to 142 all out in 43.4 overs after choosing to bat first, with the Obuya brothers the only batsmen to reach double figures.
A 94-run partnership between Collins Obuya (52 off 100 balls) and his elder sibling David (51 off 106 balls) raised hopes that the Africans might cross the 200-run mark before Malinga blew away the tail.
He got rid of Collins with a toe crusher in the 32nd over before returning for his final burst to flatten the Kenyans with near-unplayable inswinging yorkers as he bagged four wickets in five legal balls over two overs.
Malinga trapped Mishra lbw with the last delivery of his seventh over and then returned to knock over the stumps of Ongondo and Ngoche with the first two balls of his next over.
Sri Lankan fans were already dancing in the stands to celebrate the achievement and when Malinga grounded Elijah Otieno’s leg stump to grab his sixth victim of the day, a deafening roar reverberated around the R. Premadasa Stadium.
Malinga could only shake his mass of blond-tinted hair in disbelief as he looked up to the arena’s giant scoreboard which displayed a sign reading Six For 38 underneath a picture of the man of the moment.This was Sri Lanka’s second win out of three matches in Group A, while Kenya slumped to their third successive defeat. (Reuters)