Malinga ready for return to add to Kenya’s problems

Updated: Mar 01, 2011, 09:40 AM IST

Colombo: Sri Lanka are expected to welcome the return of fast bowler Lasith Malinga to their ranks when they meet Kenya on Tuesday in a World Cup Group A match.

Sri Lanka’s bowling lacked the penetration on Saturday to stop Pakistan from running up a competitive total of 277-7 and the lost the contest by 11 runs.

Malinga has been nursing a sore back in the past fortnight but coach Trevor Bayliss said that he was available for selection for the Kenyan game.

“Malinga’s physio told us that the first two weeks were the most important,” said Bayliss.

“The first two weeks are up tomorrow since he got injured. He is fit and it’s up to the selectors to select him or not for tomorrow.”

Malinga is a key component in the Sri Lanka bowling line-up having built up his reputation at the last World Cup by becoming the only bowler to capture four wickets off four balls in the match against South Africa.

Sri Lanka will be looking to redeem themselves having come off second best against Pakistan.

One of the key areas Sri Lanka will be concentrating on is building up partnerships in their batting which let them down after a decent start during their run chase.

Sri Lanka will stick to their original batting line-up and if there are any changes it is going to be in the bowling where either Nuwan Kulasekara or Thisara Perera may have to make way for Malinga.

Sri Lanka may also rest Muttiah Muralitharan, the master spinner who has been so far disappointing, and play their other two spinners Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath.

Kenya, well beaten in their first two matches by New Zealand (10 wickets) and Pakistan (205 runs), are looking for some redemption with reports of splits between the senior players and coach.

“We can’t continue doing the same thing all the time. Tomorrow we have the third game against another top side. We have got to work on that and try to get a good result out there,” Kenyan captain Jimmy Kamande said.

Bureau Report