Lasith Malinga – the hat-trick wizard
Lasith Malinga – slingy action, afro hairstyle, beaming smile; rarely have fast bowlers looked more relaxed on the ground. Rarely has someone seen him sledge or abuse fielders whose misfields have cost him runs.
Malinga always gave the impression of a man who enjoyed bowling and yet, somehow remained disconnected. For years, he was one of the four pillars of a Sri Lankan team that reached the finals of many a world tournament, along with Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
Malinga was Sri Lanka’s X-factor, a once in a generation talent. He cut his Test career short to prolong his ODI and T20 career and why not? It is in the shorter formats that he has such a fearsome reputation and is still feared, despite losing some zing.
Known for his deadly yorkers that dipped sharply to turn into toe-crushers, Malinga remains the only bowler to have taken four career hat tricks – three in ODIs and one in a recent T20I against Bangladesh. Here we revisit all four of those hat-tricks.
#1 Sri Lanka v Bangladesh T20, Colombo 2017
Malinga gave Sri Lanka a genuine opportunity to win the second T20I against Bangladesh at Colombo. The visitors were cruising at 169 for 5 in the 19th over batting first against Sri Lanka.
Malinga took three in three balls, getting the wickets of Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh wicket-keeper, Mashrafe Mortaza, the captain, and Mehedi Hasan Miraz. The first two were bowled and the third was LBW.
Bangladesh managed just 176, scoring seven runs in the last 10 deliveries. However, Malinga was let down by the Sri Lankan batsmen, who surrendered without a fight. Sri Lanka were all out for 131 and lost by 45 runs. The series was tied 1-1 and Malinga picked up the Player of the Series award.