Lasith Malinga completes 300 ODI wickets after dismissing Virat Kohli
Lasith Malinga achieved the landmark with the prized wicket of India skipper Virat Kohli, who lofted him to deep extra cover to be dismissed for 131 after a sensational 29th ODI century. Still, it was a proud moment for the slinger, who was stand-in captain for the game at the Premadasa Stadium. (Read: Virat Kohli gets 29th ODI century)
The 34-year-old bowler who stands out with a unique, slingy action and a thick mop of hair, achieved the landmark in his 203rd ODI appearance.
Lasith Malinga is the fourth Sri Lankan bowler to achieve the 300-wicket mark. The list is headed by spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, who has taken an ODI record 543 wickets in 343 games.
Left-arm paceman, Chaminda Vaas, now the Sri Lankan team’s pace bowling coach, ended with a career haul of 399 wickets in 321 matches, still the fourth highest in the all-time list.
Sanath Jayasuriya, former batting enforcer and current Sri Lanka chief selector, had a haul of 320 wickets in 441 ODIs bowling his fastish left-arm spin.
Lasith Malinga has been under pressure over his fitness, and his woes have been compounded by a series of dropped catches since his ODI comeback in June for the ICC Champions Trophy. He was handed a one year suspended ban for his public remarks in response to criticism of the players’ fitness by Sri Lankan sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara.
However, Malinga in his prime was a force to reckon with before restricting his appearances essentially to Twenty20 cricket for IPL champions, Mumbai Indians.
Lasith Malinga has the unique distinction of taking four wickets in four deliveries, against South Africa in Guyana during the 2007 ICC World Cup. South Africa still won that Super Eights match by one wicket.
Malinga went into the series against India needing two wickets to reach the milestone. He took one wicket in the third ODI in Pallekele, which India won by six wickets to seal this series 3-0 with two matches to go.