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I am all pumped up to play my role: Malinga

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malinga4Sri Lanka’s pace sensation Lasith Malinga almost achieved the impossible on Wednesday with four wickets in four balls against South Africa but later said he left the Guyana National Stadium at Providence with a heavy heart.

“I was ecstatic while taking those wickets but the fact that we lost the game ruined all the celebration,” Malinga told this correspondent after almost pulling of what could have been the most thrilling of World Cup victories.

 

Malinga, 23, became the first bowler to take four wickets in four balls, causing a sensational South African batting collapse that saw Graeme Smith’s men slipping from 206 for five to 207 for nine in the space of 10 deliveries. The South Africans, needing 210 to win, finally managed to achieve the target for an important Super Eight triumph.

“In the end 209 became too small a total to defend,” said the Galle-born Malinga, who bowls with an explosive round-arm action and is the fastest pacer in an impressive Sri Lankan bowling attack.

Malinga was aware that even in defeat he had made World Cup history but said it didn’t matter much because Sri Lanka lost two vital points.

“Had we won, I would have been over the moon,” he said. “As a bowler it really pleases you take wickets like that but as a team man you think about the bigger cause more than anything else,” he explained.

So did Malinga believe he could stop the rampaging South Africans from cruising to an easy win when he took the ball to bowl the 45th over with the opposition needing just five runs to win?

“You can’t expect to win from that situation but I just wanted to bowl at my best,” he said. “I was feeling good and managed to mix my deliveries well. One more wicket and we would have done it,” he added.

It all began in the 45th over when Malinga hurled a perfectly angled slower ball to shatter Shaun Pollock’s stumps. His next delivery, the last of the over, was a yorker and the best Andrew Hall could do was to hole it out to Upul Tharanga at cover.

He returned to bowl the 47th over and removed the in-form Jacques Kallis (86) to complete a hat-trick, the fifth in World Cup history. Malinga then went down in history as the bowler to take four wickets in four deliveries by bowling Makhaya Ntini. He could have made it an unbelievable five in five but his next ball just missed Charl Langeveldt’s off-stump.

The blond-tipped finished with 4-54 from 9.2 overs when tail-ender Rob Peterson edged him to the third-man boundary to take South Africa to victory.

Match umpire Harper later said Malinga’s deliveries were like “Exocet missiles”.

Malinga said that he is now looking forward to continue his golden form in the rest of Sri Lanka’s Super Eight matches. “We have come to the Caribbean to win the World Cup and I am all pumped to play my role in our campaign,” he said.
Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 30th, 2007 and is filed under World Cup 2007.

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