Malinga scripts Lanka`s big win over Kenya

Colombo: Pacer Lasith Malinga made a grand entry into the World Cup by notching up an unprecedented second hat-trick in the mega event as Sri Lanka crushed minnows Kenya by nine wickets in a group A match, here on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka shot out Kenya for a meagre 142 with Malinga, playing his first match of the tournament, single-handedly destroying Kenya with a career-best six-wicket haul.

And replying, the hosts cruised to 146 for one in just 18.4 overs with Tillakaratne Dilshan (44), Upul Tharanga (67 unbeaten) and skipper Kumar Sangakkara (27 unbeaten) scoring freely.

Malinga also earned the distinction of becoming the first bowler to take a hat-trick in World Cup for the second time as he first achieved the feat earlier in the 2007 edition against South Africa.

It was also the second hat-trick of the ongoing World Cup in as many days after West Indies` Kemar Roach produced the first against the Netherlands in Delhi yesterday.

Obuya brothers -- Collins (52) and David (51) -- were the only batsmen from Kenya to reach the double-digit mark and it was because of their fighting 92-run third-wicket stand that the African nation could reach near the 150-run mark.

Malinga, who had not played the first two games due to a back problem, accounted for four opposition wickets, including a hat-trick, in a span of 12 balls at the R Premadasa stadium.

Kenya`s lower middle-order spoilt the hardwork of Obuya brothers as they lost their last eight wickets for just 40 runs.

Opting to bat, Kenya found the Lankan pace duo of Malinga (6/38) and Nuwan Kulasekara (1/18) too hot to handle as they lost openers -- Maurice Ouma and Seren Waters -- for just eight runs.

Kulasekera struck early for the home team, trapping Ouma in the second over with a delivery that moved in after pitching. The batsman went for the review but TV umpire upheld the decision.

Malinga soon got into the act and trapped Waters in the next over with a lethal indipping yorker that hit the batsman on his toes.

Although Waters did not go for the review, he was perhaps little unlucky as TV replays later showed the ball was missing leg-stump.

Then came in the Obuya brothers, who displayed tremendous grit and determination to steady the rocking Kenyan ship. They showed exemplary patience to rescue Kenya with a 92-run partnership that came off 177 balls.

It took another lethal yorker from Malinga to separate the brothers when he cleaned up Collins but not before the right-hander notched up his maiden World Cup half-century that came off 100 balls and was studded with four boundaries.

Veteran Steve Tikolo (7) once again disappointed with the bat as Tillakaratene Dilshan pulled off a blinder at point off Angelo Mathews.

Just like his brother Collins, David too threw away his wicket after doing all the hard work and at a time when Kenya needed him the most. He was caught by Thilan Samaraweera off Muttiah Muralitharan.

Captain Jimmy Kamande did very little to his inspire his team as he was brilliantly run out by a diving Chamara Silva in the next over. And then in the last ball Malinga came up with yet another toe-wrecking yorker to end Tanmay Mishra`s struggle at the crease.

Malinga then castled through the defence of Peter Ongondo and Shem Ngoche in the first two deliveries of his next over to register the second hat-trick of this tournament.

He then cleaned up the Kenyan tail with another perfect yorker which was too hot for last man Elijah Otieno.


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