ICL: Indian Cricket League

Sri Lanka toast new bowling stars


On the eve of the World Cup, the talk was of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. Now the words on Sri Lankan lips are Dilhara Fernando and Lasith Malinga.

The 27-year-old Fernando held his nerve on Wednesday to secure his team a heart-stopping two-run win over England by bowling Ravi Bopara off the last ball of their Super Eights clash.

The win has put Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, in sight of the semifinals.

It was a fantastic game. I never saw a game like it before. I think I did well today. I think the boys are playing really well these days. The top boys are clicking with the bat so I think we can make the semifinals, said Fernando who finished Wednesday’s match with 3-41.

My captain said bowl (the last ball) in the block-hole, no slow ball or anything like that. Just do the basic thing. I have done well in recent times and that gave me the confidence I needed to finish the match the way I did, he added.

In contrast to Fernando, who now has 130 one-day wickets to his name, big guns Vaas and Muralitharan finished with 1-45 and 1-48 respectively.

Malinga, who took 2-50, is now the World Cup’s leading wicket taker with 15 from six matches and at an average of 14.26; Muralitharan has 12 for second place along with Glenn McGrath and Charl Langeveldt.

Malinga has already made his mark in the tournament by becoming the first man in history to take four wickets in four balls although it just wasn’t enough to rescue his team against South Africa.

I always try to take wickets and with the old ball it reverses. I always try to bowl in-swinging yorkers towards the end of the match but it doesn’t always work for me as well as it did against South Africa, said the 23-year-old. We are always a fighting team. We always try to defend the runs no matter how few there are, he added.

Source:The News

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