Sri Lanka skipper Lasith Malinga once again showed the world what he is capable of in white-ball cricket with a sensational spell of fast bowling during the third T20I against New Zealand. Malinga became the first bowler in history to claim four wickets in as many balls to rattle Kiwi batting lineup in Pallekele on Friday. In the third over of the match, Malinga removed Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor off consecutive deliveries to reduce the visitors to 15/4 in 3 overs.
During the process, the 36-year-old also became the first bowler in T20Is to claim 100 wickets. In his short 3-over burst, master Malinga showcased all his bagful of tricks to the capacity crowd present in Kandy to cheer for the home side. He also became the first-ever bowler to pick up 2 hat-tricks in T20I cricket. Malinga had taken his 1st T20I hat-trick in a T20I match against Bangladesh in Colombo on April 2017.
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After picking up the record hat-trick, Malinga went on to pick up 4 wickets in as many balls. He is the only bowler in international cricket to have picked up 4 wickets in 4 balls twice, a feat achieved by none. Mali, as he is fondly known as scalped the landmark in 2007 in an ODI against South Africa.
Later in the 3rd T20I, Malinga came back in the 5th over to remove Tim Seifert and complete his 2nd five-wicket haul in the shortest format of the game.
Earlier, Malinga had surpassed Pakistan spinner Shahid Afridi’s tally of 98 scalps to become the leading T20 wicket-taker on Sunday, bowled Colin Munro to get a century of wickets in his 76th match.