Malinga in 24 hours: 10 wickets in two countries

The Indian pacers’ workload might be closely monitored by the team management but at the age of 35, Lasith Malinga has played two matches inside 12 hours – a T20 match in India and a domestic 50 over game in Sri Lanka.

‘I have proved that my fitness level is at the highest level’ – Lasith Malinga

Malinga took 3/34 for Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League game against Chennai Super Kings that ended close to midnight on Wednesday.

Lasith Malinga of Mumbai Indians celebrates the wicket of Dwayne Bravo of Chennai Super Kings during match 15 of the Vivo Indian Premier League Season 12, 2019 between the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on the 3rd April 2019 Photo by: Faheem Hussain /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

And early morning on Thursday, Malinga was on a flight from Mumbai to Colombo and from there travelled to Kandy to play Sri Lanka’s domestic Super Four tournament, where he recorded career-best List A figures of 7 for 49, representing Galle.

Malinga flew to Kandy soon after helping Mumbai Indians beat CSK by 37 runs with a performance of 3-34. Photo: Sri Lanka Cricket

Galle beat Kandy by 156 runs in the match and it was a vintage Malinga performance as the only time he got a bit of rest was when Galle batted first and scored 255.

The sleep-deprived Malinga then rocked the Kandy line-up with figures of 9.5-0-49-7 with the opposition team being led by another current international Dimuth Karunaratne.

Malinga tore the opposition batting unit apart to record figures of 7/49 — making it a 10-wicket haul across two matches in different formats separated by a matter of a few hours. Photo: Sri Lanka Cricket

Malinga, who is Sri Lanka’s ODI captain, had decided to play the provincial ODI tournament despite Sri Lanka Cricket allowing him to be available for IPL for the entire month of April. Earlier, SLC had indicated that this tournament would have been mandatory for World Cup hopefuls, which had put Malinga’s IPL participation under a cloud.

The board eventually reversed their stance but Malinga, having played three matches for MI, has returned home to play in the event. The reason for Malinga playing the tournament is to have a closer look at some of the World Cup hopefuls.

Even though both the matches are domestic in nature, there aren’t many available instances where a player has played two matches on successive days across two countries.

It remains to be seen if Malinga remains available for MI’s next game, which is an away fixture against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Saturday, 6 April.

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