Empowered by Malinga’s slinger and swinger | india | Hindustan Times
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Empowered by Malinga’s slinger and swinger

india Updated: May 28, 2013 01:18 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Lasith Malinga is cricket’s wild child. He has the strength and accuracy to deliver yorker after yorker at batsmen. But he can also confuse his teammates. Ask Dinesh Karthik who leapt full length but couldn’t get to Malinga’s slinger that went through a vacant slip region during their eliminator against Rajasthan Royals at Eden on Friday.

Malinga gave away five wides, conceded 18 runs in that last over and almost lost the match. But two days later he got his accuracy spot on and produced a beauty that dismissed Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings’ rock at the top, before bouncing out Suresh Raina.

Combine that with the energy that Michael Johnson packs in from the other end and Mumbai Indians have an explosive combination they surprisingly didn’t unleash in every match of the Indian domestic Twenty20 League.

Johnson might not have Malinga’s range of variations. But keeping the ball straight and fast, something that pace legend Waqar Younis feels is perfect for Twenty20 cricket, has kept the Australian in the scheme of things. Like when he had broken the back of Chennai Super Kings by taking three wickets in an over during their match in Mumbai on May 5. Chennai Super Kings had capitulated for 79.

Johnson, the more accurate of the two, has been the bowling spearhead but Mumbai Indians tried different partners for him throughout the tournament.

In total, 11 opening bowling combinations were used but Sunday called for their best pair to do the job. Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming felt that the opening spell, which caused them to slump to 35/4 by the end of the Powerplay, changed the game.

“I would say outstanding spell. Malinga took the new ball, something which he hasn’t done for a while,” said Fleming.

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