Cricket

Lasith Malinga in 2019

The last two years, 2017 and 2018 were disastrous for Lasith Malinga. After leading SL to their T20 World Cup triumph as Captain, he was plagued with injuries which made him miss a lot of cricket, and during the same time SL cricket was also going through a turmoil both in its administrative setup and on field performances.

The chair of the SL Captain was a musical chair shared by many players at differant times. In 2017 he was released by his franchise, Mumbai Indians with whom he has won 04 IPL titles for poor performance, and in 2018 he was the bowling mentor of the same franchise and not a listed player.

Come 2019, and he returned to Mumbai Indians again as a player. He won the IPL trophy for his franchise on the last ball of the final over, with a yorker, with the opposition needing just a single to take the match to the Super Over.

Within 02 weeks of the IPL, it was time for the 2019 World Cup which was the last ODI tournament for Malinga as he is due to retire after CWG19. SL lost their opening match very badly and then Malinga told his teammates to feel the pain of such losses. He took it upon himself to resurrect the team, being its senior most member, and with inspired performances against Afganistan first and then yesterday against World No.1 team England, helped his team defend scores of below 250 in flat English wickets.

Against England yesterday he got Bairstow in the first over, followed by Vince, and when he came back for his second spell he removed Root and Butler in back to back overs. And in his last spell, Stokes could get any only a single of him in the 45th over, when the asking rate was over 9.

Lasith Malinga is leaving a big stamp of authority in this World Cup, and if he can perform likewise in the remaining matches, SL will fancy playing the semis for sure.

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