Wednesday, 28 March 2007

What a finish

The match between South Africa and Sri Lanka was meandering towards an easy win for the South Africans, after they had restricted Sri Lanka to a below par 209, when Lasith Malinga became the first bowler to take four wickets in four balls in a World Cup match. The South Africans needed just four runs to win when Malinga struck, with five wickets in hand.

His quatrick was quite extraordinary. First to go was Pollock - bowled by a clever slower ball. He was followed by Hall, who skied another excellent slower ball. After waiting for Vaas to complete his over Malinga then got the crucial scalp of Kallis, who was caught behind trying to win the match with one shot. Ntini, clean bowled by an inswinging yorker, completed the quartet.

What followed was an extremely nervous time for South Africa, with Vaas and Malinga threatening to snatch an unbelievable win. The ball flew past the outside edge and one Malinga delivery missed the off stump by a whisker. In the end Langeveldt and Peterson held firm, with the latter edging the winning runs.

It was an amazing end to a fascinating match and both sides can take plenty from it as they continue through the super eights. Let's just hope that there are many more matches like this to come over the next few weeks.


Chrispy said...

Great spell of bowling. He just needs to do it with the new ball as well. Such a shame it didn't end in a draw again! That would have been fair me thinks and Malinga's achievement wouldn't have been in vein. Still, it won't be forgotten quickly, just won't be quite as glossy.

Tim said...

Malinga was truly extraordinary. However, the game also exposed frailties in the Sri Lankan batting line-up (principally, the inability to accelerate in the latter stages of the innings) that suggest England may have a chance of pipping them to the semis.