The Slinger ends his ODI journey


Fast bowlers play an important role in any team’s victory. There is a long list of great fast bowlers in cricket history. Fast bowlers’ careers are shorter than those of batsmen and spinners.Sri Lanka’s fast bowler Lasith Malinga retired from One-day Internationals after the first ODI against Bangladesh in Colombo on last Friday. He took 3-38 wickets in the final innings.Malinga has been a formidable bowler, especially in limited overs cricket with his ability to execute toe-crushing yorkers, particularly in the death overs.Malinga, fondly called “The Slinger” for his low-armed delivery, is one of the world cricket’s most recognisable players.Malinga, 35, has also said that he would retire from international cricket after next year’s World Twenty20 in Australia.During his 15 years long career, Malinga has played 226 ODIs in which he has taken 338 wickets, averaging 28.87. He has taken five wickets eight times and four wickets on 11 occasions.Malinga is the third highest wicket taker for Sri Lanka in ODIs, after Muttiah Muralitharan (534) and Chaminda Vaas (400). He’s 10th on the overall wicket-takers’ list.Malinga made his Test debut against Australia at Darwin in July 2004. He took six wickets, conceding 92 runs, but Sri Lanka lost the Test by 149 runs.He remained away from action because of injuries from time to time. He announced his retirement from Test cricket on April 22, 2011, to maintain his performance levels in the shorter formats of the game.Malinga made his ODI debut in July 2004 against the UAE with just one wicket in 10 overs.He made his T20I debut against England in June 2006, but failed to manage a wicket in his three overs.Malinga’s 56 wickets from 29 matches put him third in World Cup cricket, behind Australia’s Glenn McGrath (71) and fellow Sri Lankan Muralitharan (68).Malinga was also the highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in World Cup 2019 with 13 wickets, averaging 28.69. His 4-43 against England was one of the finest spells of bowling in the recently concluded World Cup.Malinga took three ODI hat-tricks. He achieved the milestone twice during the 2007 World Cup: against South Africa and Kenya.He was the first bowler to take four wickets off four balls — against South Africa at the 2007 World Cup.The year 2011 was the best of his ODI career in which he took 48 wickets in 24 matches, averaging 19.25.The year 2017 was his worst when he took 10 wickets in 13 ODIs, averaging 62.30.In the early days, Malinga’s pace was shocking for batsman. His bouncers and yorkers were frightening.Malinga played for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and has had a glittering career in the 20-overs format. He holds the record for maximum number of wickets in IPL.In February 2018, he was appointed the bowling coach of Mumbai Indians. Malinga also played for Melbourne Stars. He was also the leading wicket taker in the 2011 Champions League Twenty20 and won the golden wicket for his admirable performances.khurrams87@yahoo.com
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