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

  • Super Bowl 2020: Andy Reid and the most successful NFL head coaches yet to win a ring Super Bowl 2020: Andy Reid and the most successful NFL head coaches yet to win a ring

    Andy Reid is one of the NFL's most successful head coaches, but there is one thing that has so far eluded him in that job.

    His place in Canton's Pro Football Hall of Fame will surely be assured if he can claim a first Super Bowl ring by leading the Kansas City Chiefs past the San Francisco 49ers in Miami on Sunday.

    Until he gets that monkey off his back, Reid has the most victories among NFL head coaches who have not won a title in that role.

    Here we take a look at who else features high on that list.

     

    ANDY REID - 207 regular-season wins, 14 playoff wins

    There is a Super Bowl ring in Reid's collection, but it came when he was the Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach and assistant to Mike Holmgren at Super Bowl XXXI.

    Since being elevated to the top job with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999, Reid has had 16 winning seasons, including seven in a row in Kansas City.

    Yet his only previous appearance in the Big Dance was at Super Bowl XXXIX, when the Eagles were beaten by a New England Patriots team wrapping up a dynasty.

    MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER - 200 regular-season wins, five playoff wins

    A head coach with the Cleveland Browns, Chiefs, Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers, Schottenheimer had no problems getting teams into the postseason.

    Yet he had a 5-13 record in the playoffs and never made it to a Super Bowl.

    His teams went one-and-done nine times in the postseason, including San Diego's 2006 Divisional Round home loss to the Pats - after Schottenheimer's Chargers had gone 14-2 in the regular season.

    DAN REEVES - 190 regular-season wins, 11 playoff wins

    Had the distinction of taking two teams to the Super Bowl like Reid, but both the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons came up short under Reeves' guidance.

    His career as an NFL head coach spanned 23 seasons and three teams - the Broncos, New York Giants and Falcons.

    Reeves took the Broncos to three Super Bowls in four years and guided a 14-2 Falcons team all way to Super Bowl XXXIII, yet on each occasion, he was on the losing side.

    JEFF FISHER - 173 regular-season wins, five playoff wins

    Fisher's teams had sub-.500 seasons in each of his last six seasons as an NFL head coach, but a decade of success with the Tennessee Titans ensured he amassed the wins.

    The Titans first reached the playoffs in the 1999-00 season, winning three times before losing to the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV, when Kevin Dyson fell one yard short of scoring and potentially forcing overtime.

    Like Reid, he does have a Super Bowl ring, with Fisher on injured reserve when the 1985 Chicago Bears and their much-vaunted defense won the Lombardi Trophy.

    BUD GRANT - 158 regular-season wins, 10 playoff wins

    A Pro Football and Canadian Football Hall of Famer, the only thing missing from Grant's resume was a Super Bowl ring.

    He got close - replicating Reeves and Marv Levy in getting to the showpiece event four times but never getting over the hump as his Minnesota Vikings team lost to the Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders in the 1970s.

    However, Grant did win four Grey Cups in Canada, guiding the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to the showpiece game in five times in six years.

    MARV LEVY - 143 regular-season wins, 11 playoff wins

    Levy's Buffalo Bills endured a stretch of Super Bowl heartbreak that has never been matched. From 1990 to 1993 Buffalo were the class of the AFC, only to come up short in the Super Bowl in four consecutive seasons.

    Scott Norwood's infamous missed field goal with four seconds left - a play now simply known as "wide right" - denied them victory in Super Bowl XXV against the Giants, but the subsequent year's game with the Redskins and a pair of clashes with the Dallas Cowboys ended in blowouts.

    Levy did win two Grey Cups with the Montreal Alouettes, but the Pro Football Hall of Famer was never able to add a Super Bowl ring to an otherwise magnificent resume.

  • Zimbabwe bowlers restrict Sri Lanka on day two Zimbabwe bowlers restrict Sri Lanka on day two

    Zimbabwe's bowlers ensured Sri Lanka made slow progress on day two of the second Test in Harare before play was halted early due to bad light.

    Starting on 352-6, the hosts ended an impressive first innings on 406 all out as they bid to bounce back from their 10-wicket defeat to the tourists in the series opener last week.

    And Zimbabwe's attack was economical in restricting Sri Lanka to 122-2 from 54 overs in their reply.

    After Sean Williams' century on day one, Zimbabwe returned to the crease on Tuesday in a strong position, though they had added just 10 to their overnight total when wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva fell for 31 to Lasith Embuldeniya, who ended with figures of 4-182.

    Debutant Tinotenda Mutombodzi (33) did most of the work in ensuring his side moved past the psychological 400 mark before falling to Dhananjaya de Silva (3-71).

    Embuldeniya took care of the last two wickets and Sri Lanka made a solid start to their first innings, captain Dimuth Karunaratne and fellow opener Oshada Fernando combining to produce a disciplined 94-run stand.

    But Sikandar Raza took the pivotal wicket of Karunaratne, who was trapped lbw for 44 while trying to sweep a full delivery, before Fernando's 168-minute innings came to an end as he also fell for the same score as his skipper, Donald Tiripano getting him caught behind.

    Kusal Mendis against Raza produced an entertaining duel, the Sri Lanka number three smashing him for six while he was also dropped by Prince Masvaure, fielding at forward short leg, and a diving Tiripano at deep mid wicket either side of that maximum.

    Having scored 80 in the opening Test, Mendis will return to the crease on Wednesday on 19 not out, partnered by Angelo Mathews (4no), with Sri Lanka still 284 runs adrift.

  • Australian Open 2020: Raonic, Monfils among the men Djokovic has truly dominated Australian Open 2020: Raonic, Monfils among the men Djokovic has truly dominated

    Novak Djokovic continued his dominance of Milos Raonic at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

    Raonic became the fourth player to suffer 10 losses to Djokovic without once beating the Serbian star after his defeat on Rod Laver Arena.

    The Canadian joined Gael Monfils, Jeremy Chardy and Andreas Seppi on Djokovic's list of opponents he has well and truly dominated on the ATP Tour.

    We take a look at the four's less-than-fantastic record.

     

    GAEL MONFILS (0-16)

    The exciting Frenchman has a game to beat most players, but clearly not Djokovic. Monfils has had his chance on every surface and fallen on every occasion. He did beat Djokovic when they met at a futures tournament in Italy in 2004 but, at ATP and grand slam level, it has been one-sided. Monfils has had his moments, with only eight of the 16 ending in straight sets, but he has never been able to get over the line, beginning at the 2005 US Open and more recently at this year's ATP Cup.

    JEREMY CHARDY (0-13)

    Another Frenchman, Chardy has been in an entirely one-sided match-up since 2009. Incredibly, all 13 of Djokovic's wins have come in straight sets, even when Chardy has been ranked as high as 25 at Wimbledon in 2013. Djokovic has been ranked in the top four in 12 of these matches and never had any problems against Chardy, who reached the Australian Open quarter-finals in 2013.

    ANDREAS SEPPI (0-12)

    Seppi has come close to upsetting Djokovic previously, but this is just another match-up that suits the 16-time grand slam champion. The Italian journeyman likes to sit behind the baseline, a position on the court from which few can match it with Djokovic. Since their first meeting in 2006, Djokovic has won nine of their 12 matches in straight sets and survived a gigantic scare in another. That came at the 2012 French Open, when Seppi won the first two sets before falling to the eventual runner-up.

    MILOS RAONIC (0-10)

    Raonic's biggest strength – his serve – may be a huge advantage in most matches, but rarely when he is taking on arguably the best returner in the sport's history. That has proven to be the case, although four of his 10 losses to Djokovic have come on clay. Since 2013, Raonic has lost eight of the meetings in straight sets, while eight of the 26 sets between them have gone to tie-breaks, seven of those won by Djokovic. Unlike some of the others on this list, the 29-year-old Canadian may get a chance to end the unwanted record.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.