Three Times When Malinga Was Menacing In The ODIs

The world of cricket is becoming impoverished day by day in terms of quality fast bowlers. Close on the heels of the retirement of South African speedster Dale Steyn, Sri Lanka’s champion fast bowler Lasith Malinga also walked into the sunset yesterday. This will bound to leave a huge void in international cricket while it grapples with a dearth of quality pacers. Malinga has served his national team very well by picking 5 hat tricks in international cricket (3 in ODIs & 2 in T-20). He was one of the best bowlers in T-20, a format considered to be a graveyard for bowlers, with an unorthodox action and dipping slow ball yorkers. So, with Malinga calling time on his splendid international career, it is time to rewind to the times when he registered splendid hat tricks in the ODIs. 

Mesmerizing Spells by Malinga In The ODIs 

The Four in Four against South Africa (2007 World Cup) 

Image Credits: ESPNCricinfo

At Guyana, South Africa were cruising to a comfortable win chasing Sri Lanka’s 210 as they were 206/5 in the 44th over. However, on the 5th ball of the 44th over something unexpected happened. A slow ball from Malinga had disturbed the timber of Shaun Pollock, the SA all-rounder had no clue regarding the delivery. Then in the very next ball, Andrew Hall was in complete disbelief as his stumps got rattled by the Sri Lankan maverick. This brought an end to the 44th over. However, Malinga had not finished yet as he came back to induce an edge of Jacques Kallis in the very first ball of the 46th over. And in the next bowl, he cleaned up Makhaya Ntini and achieved what many dreams of, 4 wickets in as many deliveries. However, the Lankans lost this match by one wicket as the Proteas, somehow, managed an escape to victory. 

The Four in Five Legit Balls against Kenya (2011 World Cup) 

Lasith Malinga was down with an injury before this World Cup, however, he announced to the world of cricket that he is back at his ferocious best through this spell against Kenya at Colombo. The Kenyan innings were precariously placed at 127/4 when the lightning called Malinga struck them. Tanmay Mishra was his first victim when a fuller delivery crashed to his stumps. Then in the next ball, the final one of his over, Malinga dismantled the middle stump of Peter Ongondo with a deadly yorker. Then in the very first ball of his next over, he cleaned up Shem Ngoche to claim his hat trick. He could have taken another four in four but Malinga was off the target with the second ball. But he bowled another Kenyan batsman Elijah Otieno on the fourth ball. So, Malinga had four wickets in five legitimate deliveries and finished with a six-wicket haul to help dismiss Kenya for 142 and Sri Lanka chased down the score in 18.4 overs with the loss of just one wicket. 

The Triple Strike against OZ (Fifth ODI, 2011) 

Slinger Malinga plays down hat-trick heroics | Reuters
Image Credits: Reuters

This was the final ODI, Colombo, and the series was already pocketed by the Australians (3-1) and Sri Lanka were merely playing for the pride. But Malinga yet again proved that he cannot be kept quiet for a long time as he became the first bowler to take three hat tricks in ODIs after this match. He unleashed his beastly instincts by disturbing the furniture of Mitchell Johnson with a searing yorker. Then he had John Hastings caught plumb in front of the wicket with a low full toss and bowled Doherty with another fatal yorker. As a result of these deadly strikes, Australians, who were 210/6, could only add one more run to their total and the host chased down the score of 211 with four wickets to spare. 

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