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The captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team, Angelo Mathews, has praised Lasith Malinga for his terrific performance in the match against New Zealand.
Malinga took 4 wickets against Kiwis, but, despite his great effort, Sri Lanka couldn’t win the match. New Zealand somehow managed to reach the target and won the match by 1 wicket.
Sri Lanka had batted first and had got all out on just 138 runs. Chasing down that total, New Zealand was in a very good position at one point of time, but, when Malinga came for his second spell, he changed it all.
With his lethal in swinging yorkers, Malinga just rattled the lower middle order of New Zealand. He got the important wickets of Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori in his second spell which pushed New Zealand right back.
Malinga later on went on to dismiss the ominous looking Nathan McCullum as well. When Nathan McCullum got out, New Zealand still needed 16 runs to win and they had a couple of wickets in hand.
Malinga had 2.4 overs up his sleeve at that point of time, but, he couldn’t do any more damage in those 16 deliveries and New Zealand went on to win the game.
Talking to the reporters in the post match press conference, Mathews said, “Lasith has been absolutely phenomenal for us in the last few years. He is someone who soaks up the pressure really well. He is mentally very tough. The way he brought us back into the game today was absolutely fantastic.”
When asked what would have been the par score on that wicket, Mathews said, “I think 170 would have been a very good score here. We didn’t read the pitch correctly. We went hard early on and lost quick wickets.”