Malinga takes four wickets in four balls

7 September 2019 06:28 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Sri Lankan slinger produced a stunning spell of 5-6 including a double hat-trick - four wickets in four balls - to dismiss the Black Caps for 88 and end their tour with a 37-run defeat on Friday.

New Zealand at least dusted themselves off to pose with the trophy, having won the series 2-1, with Colin de Grandhomme taking a sponsor's motorbike for a spin after winning 'most powerful player of the series'. An hour or so earlier he and his mates were made to look utterly bereft with the bat.

Bowling full and fast with some vicious late swing, Malinga skittled Colin Munro, late call-up Hamish Rutherford, de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor with the last four deliveries of his second over to spark delirium in the stands at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

Remarkably it wasn't even his first four-in-four in international cricket, either. Twelve years ago at the 2007 World Cup, Malinga produced a double hat-trick against South Africa when he removed Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis and Makhaya Ntini.

It was the eighth hat-trick in T20 internationals and Malinga's fifth for his country: three in ODIs and two in T20s. One of the world's most devastating white ball bowlers also became the first to raise 100 wickets in T20 internationals.

Said New Zealand captain Tim Southee: "He's done it in the past and shown he's still got a lot of life left in him. It was a class spell from a class T20 bowler and not much our guys could do with it. Although it was a small chase, it really broke the back of us."

Munro (12) was bowled by a full Malinga inswinger for the second time in the series but there was no hint of the drama to follow as the home skipper warmed to his task.

Rutherford strode out in his first T20 international in nearly six years - having been summoned from England for injured duo Martin Guptill and Tom Bruce - and faced just one delivery. A full Malinga inswinger struck him on the pad, was given not out,but the skipper reviewed and replays showed it hitting leg stump.

Then New Zealand's two matchwinners from game one were sent packing. De Grandhomme had no answer to an outswinger that cannoned into middle stump to clinch the hat-trick, then Taylor got an even better one, a sandshoe crushing yorker for No 4.

"It's simple, not much to complicate it: I try to bowl my wicket-taking ball. I decided my yorker was the best way to go. Just bowl the right area and the right length, then get calm," Malinga said of his not-so-secret formula.

Opener Tim Seifert watched all the carnage from the other end then soon became Malinga's fifth wicket in his next over, edging to a wide slip, and the crowd could barely contain themselves.

Wickets kept tumbling and there was no way back for a stunned batting lineup. Spinner Akila Dananjaya removed Mitchell Santner and Scott Kuggeleijn with successive deliveries and in a hurry it was 52-9, New Zealand threatening their lowest T20 total of 60.

Southee, on a five-match winning streak as T20 skipper with Kane Williamson resting, blasted off with 28 not out off 23 balls and added 36 for the 10th wicket with Seth Rance, but they needed plenty to go their way to pull off a remarkable recovery. Rance was trapped in front with four overs left.

At the innings break New Zealand were in fine fettle after Santner and Todd Astle shared six wickets between them.

Santner took 3-12 and legspinner Astle - in for his first tour appearance in place of Ish Sodhi - 3-28 in an excellent bowling display that left the Black Caps poised for a clean sweep.

Sri Lanka were missing some key men, too, with Kusal Mendis and Shehan Jayasuriya both out injured after their horror outfield collision late in game two.

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