Malinga makes history as SL thump Kenya
Lasith Malinga became the first man to claim two World Cup hat-tricks as Sri Lanka thumped Kenya by nine wickets in their World Cup Group A match at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Tuesday.
Paceman Malinga, playing in his first match of the tournament after recovering from a back injury, blew Kenya’s middle and lower order away as he finished with figures of six for 38 off 7.4 overs as Kenya were bowled out for 142 in 43.4 overs.
Opening bat Upul Tharanga then blasted his way to 67 not out off 59 balls as the home side romped to 146 for one in just 18.4 overs.
"We tried to stop as many runs as we could and keep them down so that the wickets would come at the end and Lasith as usual, the champion that he is, with the ball reversing, did a great job for us," said Sangakkara
During the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies Malinga took four wickets in four balls against South Africa and he haunted an African team once again as the Kenyans battled to cope with the succession of fast in-swinging yorkers served up by Malinga.
The 27-year-old bowler almost repeated his feat against the Proteas as he claimed four wickets in five legal deliveries against Kenya as the Africans lost their last eight wickets for the addition of just 40 runs.
A day after West Indies quick Kemar Roach took a hat-trick against the Netherlands Malinga provided fireworks of his own and he started his hat-trick with the last ball of his seventh over when he trapped Tanmay Mishra (nought) leg-before.
With the first ball of his eighth over, and the start of the 43rd over overall, Malinga bowled Peter Ongondo (nought) before he completed his hat-trick with yet another yorker when he bowled Shem Ngoche (nought).
A wide and a dot ball followed before Malinga ended the innings by yorking Elijah Otieno for a duck.
Kenya had won the toss and elected to bat but they were soon in trouble as they slipped to eight for two after seamer Nuwan Kulasekara removed Maurice Ouma (one) leg-before and Malinga accounted for Seren Waters (three) in a similar fashion.
The Obuya brothers, Collins and David, then dug in as they constructed an obdurate third-wicket stand of 94 off 29.3 overs.
Collins made his way to 52 off 100 balls before being bowled by Malinga while David weighed in with 51 off 106 balls before being caught at deep midwicket off a Muttiah Muralitharan delivery.
Seamer Angelo Mathews then had Steve Tikolo (seven) caught at point before Jimmy Kamande (one) was run out by a diving Chamara Silva to set the stage for Malinga’s heroics.
Disappointed Kenyan captain Jimmy Kamande said of the Obuya brothers: "They played very well but they could have been there until the end because they were settled in there."
"It's always going to be hard work for the new batsmen coming in so once they got out we crumbled again. It's like a habit for us now."
The hosts had no trouble in chasing down the winning score as Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan put on a searing first-wicket partnership of 72 off 8.2 overs.
Dilshan raced to 44 off 30 balls before gloving a short ball from seamer Otieno to keeper Ouma.
Kumar Sangakkara (27 not out) and Tharanga then knocked off the remaining runs thanks to an unbroken second-wicket stand of 74.
The win moves Sri Lanka to the top of Group A on four points, ahead of Pakistan and Australia thanks to a superior net run-rate although Sri Lanka have played a game more.
Sri Lanka - Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (capt, wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Silva, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan.
Kenya - Maurice Ouma (wk), Seren Waters, Collins Obuya, David Obuya, Steve Tikolo, Tanmay Mishra, Jimmy Kamande (capt), Nehemiah Odhiambo, Peter Ongondo, Shem Ngoche, Elijah Otieno.