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SK Flashback: A hat-trick on consecutive days in World Cup 2011 as Malinga strikes

ANALYST
Feature
16 May 2019, 17:39 IST

The 2011 World Cup had suddenly come to life. Kemar Roach had taken a hat-trick the previous day against the Netherlands at New Delhi. And now Lasith Malinga slipped in his low-slinging yorkers with stunning accuracy to leave an already-demoralized Kenyan side completely bemused and befuddled.

It took the fourth World Cup in 1987 for its first hat-trick to materialize. Then two World Cups passed in 1992 and 1996 without a three-in-three strike. The phenomenon was revived in 1999 and embraced every World Cup since, with two hat-tricks in 2003, one in 2007, and now two in two days in 2011.

Mesmeric Malinga shot through under the bat with amazing precision.
Mesmeric Malinga shot through under the bat with amazing precision.

Nuwan Kulasekara had already started the slide here at Colombo, trapping Morris Ouma leg-before off his second delivery of the innings. At the other end, off the first ball of his second over, Malinga had Seren Waters in an embarrassing tangle and down on the ground as his inswinging yorker landed with unerring precision.

The umpire ruled the batsman out lbw. It was 8 for two.

The Obuya brothers fought back admirably, though progress was slow. Collins reached his fifty in 95 balls. Just as the partnership began to inch towards hundred, Malinga was brought back.

Almost predictably, he produced a state-of-the-art in-swinging yorker that hit the bottom of Collins Obuya’s off-stump. David Obuya got to his half-century in 104 deliveries but wickets continued to tumble.

Malinga returned for another spell, and sure enough produced his trademark toe-crusher tailing in alarmingly to strike Tanmay Mishra’s boot. The batsman was ruled leg-before, which was confirmed by television replays.

Peter Ongondo faced up at the beginning of Malinga’s next over. He was no impediment as yet another fast and accurate yorker went through to smash into the middle-stump.

It was Shem Ngoche’s turn next to attempt to stop a Malinga thunderbolt. Amazingly, the slinger produced yet another perfect one and, unsurprisingly, Ngoche was completely befuddled and castled.

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Here was one more hat-trick, Malinga’s second in the World Cup after his stirring performance against South Africa in 2007. It was the second of this World Cup, on the heels of Roach’s feat the previous day.

No. 11 Elijah Otieno walked in but this time Malinga bowled wide of the leg-stump and it ran away to the boundary. Otieno managed to put bat to ball to the next one, which was the predictable yorker. He was not so lucky when Malinga delivered yet another under his bat, which darted through to hit the leg-stump.

In 2007 Malinga had ripped out four wickets off consecutive deliveries. Here he snatched four in five successive legitimate deliveries, marking him out as a unique phenomenon in limited-overs cricket.

Like Roach, Malinga bagged six wickets, giving away 38 runs in 7.4 overs, and earning the man-of-the-match award. Kenya were bowled out for 142 in 43.4 overs and Sri Lanka cruised home in 18.4 overs, losing just one wicket in the process.

The original purveyor of toe-crushing in-swinging yorkers, Waqar Younis, was on the mark about Malinga when he said, “He has got a unique action, a slingy action. That is why it is more effective. The ball dips at the last second, which is the key. When the white ball gets old, it can get greyish. With that kind of action it becomes difficult to sight it especially in the evening.”

Kenya 142 all out (43.4 overs), Sri Lanka 146 for 1 wicket (18.4 overs) (CWC 2011)

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