Jayawardene credits Malinga for setting up Sri Lanka’s victory – Cricket News Update
Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene has credited fiery pacer Lasith Malinga for having provided the necessary momentum his side’s bowling attack needed in order to dismantle the Pakistani batting order, resulting in their 44-run victory in the 4th
ODI of the series, played at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on June 16.
“Lasith gave us that momentum. A couple of overs of aggressive bowling put them on the back foot and created a bit of doubt in their minds,” Jayawardene said. “Lasith triggered it off and [Nuwan] Kulasekera picked up Umar [Akmal] so those two senior bowlers
did the damage upfront.”
After having set the Men In Green a target for 244, the Lankan bowlers rose to the challenge of defending their total.
Malinga made the first dent in the opposition batting line-up by claiming the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez on duck, in the very first over.
Pakistan found some respite from their shaky start in the innings of Azhar Ali, who scored an unbeaten 81, in addition to establishing a 113-run partnership with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (57). The visitors appeared to be cruising and had reached 166 by the
38th over, but Malinga intervened once again, dismissing the Pakistan captain, after which the tourists were unable to find their footing.
Kulasekara followed with the wicket of Umar Akmal on duck, and the remainder of the damage was done by a devastating 41st over by Thisara Perera.
“... then Thisara came and bowled probably one of the best overs I've seen,” Jayawardene said. “He needed a bit of luck but at the same time he put the ball in the right areas to create those opportunities."
Perera claimed a total of 4 wickets in the 41st over, achieving a stunning hat-trick which left the opposition’s batting order in tatters – Younis Khan (1), Shahid Afridi (0), Sarfraz Ahmed (0), and Sohail Tanvir (0) were all sent back to the
pavilion by the Lankan seamer, and the seal was set on Pakistan’s defeat.
Expressing his satisfaction with Sri Lanka’s victory, which sees them gaining a 2-1 lead in the 5-match series, Jayawardene refused to single out one player, and instead gave credit to the entire team.
“It was a great team effort. I am very proud of the boys.”