Third for Sri Lanka, third at World Cups - Retiring Malinga's brilliant ODI career

By Sports Desk July 26, 2019

Lasith Malinga has played his final ODI, starring for Sri Lanka in Friday's victory against Bangladesh in Colombo.

The Lions seamer went out in style as he took three wickets for 38 runs - his dismissal of Mustafizur Rahman wrapping up the win - in a 91-run triumph.

Malinga will continue to play 20-over internationals until next year's T20 World Cup, but it was in the 50-over format that he first established himself as a worldwide bowling icon.

Marking the end of a brilliant career, we take a look at how he compares to the very best.

 

ONE OF SRI LANKA'S ELITE

Malinga ends his career at number three on Sri Lanka's list of ODI wicket-takers, having claimed 338 from 220 innings.

Only the great Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399) can better that tally, both playing considerably more innings - 334 and 319 respectively.

That puts Malinga ahead of Sanath Jayasuriya, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dilhara Fernando and team-mate Thisara Perera, with his average of 28.87 better than each of those four players, too.

 

HIS PLACE AMONG THE GREATS

Those figures unsurprisingly put Malinga high on the all-time worldwide list, too.

The 35-year-old is ninth in a table that again sees compatriot Muralitharan on top, also trailing Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Vaas, Shahid Afridi, Shaun Pollock, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee.

Counting only seamers in ODIs, Malinga is seventh, with Javagal Srinath (315 wickets) the next after him.

He also collected three hat-tricks, which is more than any other bowler in ODI history, while he had eight five-wicket hauls.

 

A GENUINE WORLD CUP STAR

A rare bowling list that Muralitharan does not lead is that of Cricket World Cup wickets, where he is second behind McGrath. Malinga, with 56, 15 behind the leader, is third.

That total came from just 28 innings as Malinga produced his best on the big stage, playing in four World Cups (2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019) and taking 12 or more wickets in each of them. No other bowler has taken at least 10 wickets in more than three tournaments.

Sri Lanka were runners-up in 2007 and 2011, and big-game player Malinga took a hat-trick in each tournament. He took four wickets from four balls for the first of those against South Africa.

Related items

  • Opta Woe: The worst goalkeeping stats in Europe's top five leagues in 2019-20 Opta Woe: The worst goalkeeping stats in Europe's top five leagues in 2019-20

    The resumption of football in Europe's top five leagues still appears some way off due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving players with plenty of time to analyse their performances this season.

    Using Opta data, we have already examined some of the worst attacking, passing and defensive numbers from 2019-20, so now it's the turn of the goalkeepers.

    We have analysed five metrics for keepers to have featured in at least 10 league games this season, giving us a good summary of those most in need of some improvement.

    The metrics include goals conceded, save percentage and drops.

    It's time to name and shame...

     

    THE WORST GOALKEEPINGING STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

    BUNDESLIGA:

    Most goals conceded: Jiri Pavlenka (53)
    Worst save percentage: Roman Burki (53.62 per cent)
    Most drops: Alexander Nubel (6)
    Worst passing accuracy: Tomas Koubek (54.89)
    Worst keeper sweeper accuracy: Leopold Zingerle (0 per cent)

    LALIGA:

    Most goals conceded: Diego Lopez (46)
    Worst save percentage: Juan Soriano (55 per cent)
    Most drops: Simon Unai, Aitor Fernandez, Marko Dmitrovic, Diego Lopez (3)
    Worst passing accuracy: David Soria (40.79 per cent)
    Worst keeper sweeper accuracy: Simon Unai (33.33 per cent)

    LIGUE 1:

  • Windies U19 tour to England postponed because of scheduling conflicts Windies U19 tour to England postponed because of scheduling conflicts

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have agreed to postpone the planned West Indies U19 tour of England, scheduled for August and September 2020 due to scheduling clashes.

  • Remember the name? Carlos Brathwaite and the sixes that clinched West Indies T20 glory Remember the name? Carlos Brathwaite and the sixes that clinched West Indies T20 glory

    It is April 3, 2016. Carlos Brathwaite is on strike and there is one over to go in the ICC World Twenty20 final in Calcutta.

    West Indies require 19 runs to win a see-saw final that has ebbed and flowed like the nearby Hooghly River. Having recovered from a shocking start, England have a first limited-overs international trophy seemingly within touching distance.

    They battled back from 23-3 to post 155-9. Having top-scored with 54, Joe Root claimed two of three early wicket to fall in West Indies' reply with his occasional off-spin.

    Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo put on a 73 for the fourth wicket, yet when Andre Russell and Darren Sammy both fell to David Willey in the space of three deliveries, England were the team in charge.

    After Chris Jordan managed to deny the well-set Samuels from claiming the strike at the end of the penultimate over, Ben Stokes was tasked with seeing the job through.

    His previous two overs in the game had gone for eight and nine runs respectively – combine those two together and it would still be enough for Eoin Morgan’s side to be crowned champions.

    Brathwaite, however, has other ideas…

     

    BALL ONE: WHAT A START!

    When you need so many off so few, an early maximum quickly heaps the pressure back on the bowler. 

    Stokes appears to aim for a yorker but only serves up a half-volley instead, one he's shoved down leg so far that Brathwaite simply has to help the ball on its way, depositing it over the boundary at backward square leg with a flick of the wrists.

    A gift. An absolute gift. Stokes should have sent it down with a bow on. West Indies now need just 13 from five.

    BALL TWO: IT'S UP, UP, UP AND OUTTA HERE!

    Straighter – but still in the slot from Stokes. Brathwaite manoeuvres his front foot out of the way to clear space for the bat to come through and send this one much straighter down the ground – and several metres back into a now delirious crowd inside Eden Gardens.

    Stokes pulls a face in response to suggest he either feels he was not too far off target or he's just eaten something that's way too hot. Either way, he's hurting. The once-taxing equation is now down to a seriously manageable sum of seven from off four. 

    Can England somehow claw this back?

    BALL THREE: GOING, GOING, GONE!

    No. Braithwaite does it again as the noise levels inside the ground rise even higher.

    It's a similar stroke to the last maximum, only this time the right-hander manages to send his home run over long off. There is a brief moment after it departs the bat that you wonder if it is going to clear the fielder, like a golfer who initially fears he's taken the wrong club and could end up in the water. In the end, though, the man in the deep just watches it sail over him.

    West Indies require just one to win and the rest of the squad are now off their feet out of the dugout and ready to start celebrating. 

    BALL FOUR: WEST INDIES WIN! WEST INDIES WIN!

    Forget knocking it into a gap to pinch a single. Brathwaite winds up again as he gets another ball on his pads, allowing him to finish the job in style.

    As it sails into the sky to such an extent towards mid wicket that air traffic control may need to get involved to help find a landing spot, the hero of the over stretches out his arms as team-mates rush out to the middle. What initially seemed a seriously tough challenge completed with room to spare.

    "Carlos Brathwaite ​– remember the name!" Ian Bishop booms on commentary. Few who have witnessed it – whether live at the ground or on television – will forget it, least of all poor Stokes.

    West Indies complete one of the most stunning heists in limited-overs cricket to be crowned T20 champions for a second time.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.