Malinga powers Sri Lanka to consolation win
A Lasith Malinga masterclass yet again powered Sri Lanka to a 37-run victory against New Zealand in the third and the last T20I.
With series already under the bag for the visitors New Zealand, it was expected to be a dead rubber clash in the last T20I. But who knew, a thrilling encounter was still awaiting and Lasith Malinga the man yet again for the hosts, who delivered with his outrageous bowling.
It was back in 2007 when Malinga picked up four wickets in four balls in the 2007 World Cup against South Africa. Same record, different format but still after 12 years, it was the same man who delivered the incredible, who did the unthinkable.
Sri Lanka won the toss for the third time in three attempts and the yet again decided to bat first. They could manage to post only 125 runs in a slow tricky track with opener Danushka Gunathilaka (30) scoring the highest score for the hosts. Man in form Mitchell Santner once again had a spectacular day with the ball as he picked up 3 wickets, conceding only 12 runs in his 4 overs.
In reply, when it was expected to be an easy chase for the visitors, a masterclass from skipper Malinga stunned the Blackcaps. In his second over, he repeated his historical record of taking 4 wickets in 4 balls, this time in the shortest format and also in the winning cause.
Malinga picked up fifer with 8 balls still to go in his spell. He conceded only one run in his last over and ended with match-winning figures of 5/6.
New Zealand skipper Tim Southee showed some glimpse of hopes for the visitors with his short cameo of 28* from 23 including 3 sixes, but lack of support from the other sided ended things in favour for the hosts as they earned a consolation win in the last game.