Malinga destroys Kenya with on-demand yorkers
Playing his first match of the tournament, Malinga single-handedly destroyed Kenya with his slinging yorkers and in the process registered his best ODI figures — six for 38.
Malinga accounted for four opposition wickets, including a hat-trick, in a span of 12 balls to bowl out Kenya inside the 150-mark at R Premadasa stadium.
Malinga earned the distinction of becoming the first bowler to take a hat-trick in World Cup for the second time as he first achieved the feat in the 2007 edition against South Africa.
Kenya`s lower middle-order spoilt the hardwork of Obuya brothers — Collins (52) and David (51) as they lost their last eight wickets for just 40 runs.
Kenya`s struggle against Malinga can be gauged from the fact that apart from the Obuya brothers not a single batsmen could come with double digit scores.
Collins and David were the only bright spot in Kenya`s dismal batting show with a fighting 92-run third-wicket stand that resurrected their innings after two early blows.
Opting to bat, Kenya found Sri Lankan pace duo of Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara (1/18) too hot to handle as they lost both their openers — Maurice Ouma and Seren Waters — for just eight runs.
Kulasekera struck early for the home team, trapping Ouma lbw in the second over with a delivery that moved in after pitching. The batsman went for the review but TV umpire upheld the decision.
Returning to the playing eleven after missing Sri Lanka`s first two games due to a back problem, Malinga soon got into the act and trapped Waters in the next over with a lethal in-dipping yorker that hit the batsman on his toes.
Although Waters did not go for the review, he was perhaps little unlucky as TV replays later showed the ball was missing leg-stump.
Then came in the Obuya brothers — Collins and David — who displayed tremendous grit and determination to steady Kenya`s ship after dismal start.
The Obuya brothers showed exemplary patience to rescue Kenya with a 92-run partnership that came off 177 balls.
It took another lethal yorker from Malinga to separate the brothers when he cleaned up Collins but not before the right-hander notched up his maiden World Cup half-century that came off 100 balls and was studded with four boundaries.
Veteran Steve Tikolo (7) once again disappointed with the bat as Tillakaratene Dilshan pulled off a blinder at point off Angelo Mathews.
Just like his brother Collins, David too threw away his wicket after doing all the hard work and at a time when Kenya needed him the most. He was caught by Thilan Samaraweera of Muttiah Muralitharan.
Captain Jimmy Kamande did very little to his inspire his team as he was brilliantly run out by a diving Chamara Silva in the next over. And then in the last ball Malinga came up with yet another toe-wrecking yorker to end Tanmay Mishra`s struggle at the crease.
Malinga then castled through the defence of Peter Ongondo and Shem Ngoche in the first two deliveries of his next over to register the second hat-trick of this tournament. West Indies` Kemar Roach was the first to achieve the feat in the tournament against the Netherlands yesterday.
Malinga then cleaned up the Kenyan tail with another perfect yorker which was too hot for last man Elijah Otieno.