Cricket World Cup: Sri Lanka’s Malinga downs Kenya

Sri Lankan batsmen Upul Tharanga plays a shot during the World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Kenya in Colombo.
Sri Lankan batsmen Upul Tharanga plays a shot during the World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Kenya in Colombo.
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Lasith Malinga claimed six wickets including a hat-trick to power Sri Lanka to a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Kenya in their World Cup Group A match in Colombo today.

Malinga (six for 38) ran through the Kenya line-up en route to the second hat-trick of the tournament, following yesterday’s effort by Kemar Roach for West Indies against Canada.

Batting first after winning the toss, the minnows were dismissed for 142 inside 43 overs, and Sri Lanka made light work of the chase by overhauling the target within 19 overs, led by an unbeaten half-century from Upul Tharanga.

Earlier, brothers Collins and David Obuya put up some resistance with 52 and 51 respectively after the early dismissal of openers Maurice Ouma and Seren Waters inside the third over.

But once the laborious 94-run stand spanning almost 30 overs between the brothers was broken, Kenya slipped from 102 for two to 142 all out.

Collins reached his half-century off 95 balls, while David took five more to bring up his 50. Unfortunately for Kenya, both the set batsmen gave in after reaching the mark, dashing hopes of a late flourish.

Malinga broke the partnership by yorking Collins Obuya and a couple of quick wickets saw Kenya slip to 128 for six in 41.1 overs.

The 27-year-old paceman then wrapped up the tail by picking up four wickets in five balls, which included the second World Cup hat-trick of his career.

He trapped Tanmay Mishra lbw with the last ball of his seventh over and claimed Peter Ongondo and Shem Ngoche in the first two balls of his eighth.

Elijah Otieno survived just two deliveries to give Malinga his career-best figures of six for 38.

In the 2007 tournament, Malinga took four wickets in four balls against South Africa. He remains the only bowler to achieve such a feat and has also become the first to take more than one World Cup hat-trick.

Compatriot Chaminda Vaas, Roach, Brett Lee of Australia, Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq and Chetan Sharma of India are the only other bowlers to have taken World Cup hat-tricks.

Chasing 143 for victory, Sri Lanka blazed to 100 off 13.4 overs after losing Dilshan (44), who in his bid to hasten the triumph departed caught-behind off Elijah Otieno.

The right-hander bludgeoned the Kenya attack, hitting eight boundaries in his 30-ball innings, and Tharanga carried on in a similar vein as he brought up his 19th ODI half-century with the help of 12 boundaries.

Tharanga (67 not out off 59 balls) and Kumar Sangakkara (27no off 24) then rattled off the required runs to take Sri Lanka home with more than 31 overs remaining.

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