Sri Lankan fast-bowler Lasith Malinga produced arguably the best ODI spell ever against the Proteas in Guyana in 2007.
South Africa were in a comfortable position in a Super Eight fixture against Sri Lanka during the 2007 World Cup. Needing an easy 10 runs off 36 balls, none of the spectators who packed the Providence Stadium would have predicted the exciting end to the game.
Throwing his all into it – Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara gave the ball to Lasith Malinga for the 45th over. The first four balls of the over went for six runs with South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock benefiting. But there was reward for Malinga when he bowled Pollock for his first wicket of the match – just reward for his toil. The next ball he produced a wonderful yorker to Andrew Hall who failed to control his shot, scooping the ball up for a routine catch for Upul Tharanga at cover.
The Galle-born bowler took his hat-trick with the first ball of the 47th over claiming the wicket of South Africa’s best batsman on the day Jaques Kallis for 86 when he edged the ball to wicket-keeper Sangakkara. And he didn’t waste any time sending the next batsman Makhaya Ntini back to the dugout when he clean bowled him for a first-ball duck. Claiming an incredible four wickets from four balls.
South Africa needed two runs off 18 balls for the last wicket. Chaminda Vaas bowled a maiden over in the 48th. Malinga started his final over with a dot ball, but there was relief from the South African camp when Robin Peterson edged the second ball of the over past the slips for a four to win a close game for the Proteas. Malinga’s final spell on that day confirmed his status as one of the best exponents of death bowling.
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