Lasith Malinga - most successful Sri Lankan player in IPL history | Daily News

Lasith Malinga - most successful Sri Lankan player in IPL history

Lasith Malinga celebrates with the IPL Trophy
Lasith Malinga celebrates with the IPL Trophy

Lasith Malinga, who announced his retirement from all formats of cricket last week, is also the most successful Sri Lankan player in the Indian Premier League (IPL) history.

The 38-year-old right-arm paceman is a former Purple Cap winner and he also retired at the top of the all-time IPL wicket-takers’ list. Malinga represented the Mumbai Indians (MI) throughout his IPL career and helped MI win their fourth championship by taking Shardul Thakur's wicket off the final ball of his career.

The Mumbai Indians won their first IPL title in 2013, a season where Malinga scalped 20 wickets at an economy rate of 7.16. In fact, Malinga played a major role in the low-scoring final against

Chennai Super Kings at Kolkata while returning excellent figures of two for 22 in four overs.

Lasith Malinga in action

MI batting first managed only 148 for nine in 20 overs but their bowlers spearheaded by Malinga restricted Chennai to 125 for nine in their allotted 20 overs.

Malinga provided MI the ideal start as he claimed back-to-back wickets in his very first over to put the Chennai side on the back foot during the run chase.

He trapped opener Michael Hussey with his fourth delivery and then removed Suresh Raina in the very next delivery off a short bouncer. Even then, Malinga’s best season for MI was in 2015 where he took a total of 24 wickets with an average of 18.50 and at an economy rate of 7.40.

Lasith Malinga in action

His best performance was four for 23 against Sunrisers Hyderabad where he also went on to bag the Player-of-the-Match award in that match. In addition, he captured three for 23 in the Qualifier 1 match at Mumbai while claiming the key wickets of Dwayne Smith, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ashish Nehra.

Malinga of course captured only two wickets in the final against Chennai but yet he played a significant role by dismissing Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Pawan Negi.

Two seasons later, Malinga could only scalp 11 wickets but still, his team MI clinched the Trophy while defeating Rising Pune Supergiant by just one run in the final played at Hyderabad.

Malinga finished as the fourth best bowler of MI behind his teammates Jasprit Bumrah (20), Mitchell McClenaghan (19) and Karn Sharma (13).

His final season with MI in 2019 was a memorable one indeed as he emerged as their key player with a total of 16 wickets at an average of 27.37. Malinga was able to claim four wickets in an innings twice against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (4/31) and Chennai Super Kings (4/37)

respectively.

Even then, his contribution in the final encounter against Chennai had a great amount of significance as his team won an absolute thriller by just one run in the last ball of the match.

Malinga was handed over the task of bowling the crucial last over of the Chennai innings with Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur at the crease. Chennai needed two runs from the last ball and Malinga brought a dramatic end to the final by trapping Thakur with a beauty signalling victory for MI.


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