Sri Lanka v UAE, Asia Cup 2016, Mirpur February 25, 2016

Malinga marks return with match-winning spell against UAE


Sri Lanka 129 for 8 (Chandimal 50, Javed 3-25) beat UAE 115 for 9 (Patil 37, Malinga 4-26) by 14 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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By the numbers - Malinga's 12th T20 four-for

At the innings break, UAE would have had hopes of a fourth straight win in the tournament, having restricted Sri Lanka to 129 for 8. Those hopes, however, were snuffed out in the first over as Lasith Malinga struck twice to wreck UAE's chase and ultimately lead his side to a 14-run win. Malinga marked his return to international cricket with a haul of 4 for 26.

The UAE bowlers had done well to restrict Sri Lanka for a less than average score of 129 in Mirpur. In fact the 129 for 8 was one run less than what UAE captain Amjad Javed had said he wanted to restrict his opponents to, after he decided to field. But their batsmen were not as inspired as their bowlers and were shut out for 115 for 9 in 20 overs.

Malinga, playing his first competitive match since November 2015, trapped Rohan Mustafa leg-before off the first ball of the chase with a fast, straight and full ball that was only destined to hit the stumps. Off the last ball of the first over, Mohammad Shahzad was duped by a 113.7 kph slower ball, and was bowled for 1.

Nuwan Kulasekara got into the act, too, removing Muhammad Kaleem and Muhammad Usman in the fourth over. Kaleem lofted one needlessly to mid-off before Usman's uncharacteristic slog ended in a simple catch to Chamara Kapugedera at first slip. UAE finished the fourth over at 16 for 4.

Shaiman Anwar quickly counter-attacked in the next over, striking Angelo Mathews for fours through midwicket before Swapnil Patil played a pull off Mathews for a beautiful six over the same region.

UAE, however, had more bad news around the corner. Rangana Herath, playing his first T20 international since the 2014 World T20, was brought into the attack and straightaway removed UAE's last hope, Anwar, with an arm ball that took a thin outside edge on its way to the keeper.

Herath then removed Saqlain Haider in his next over, reducing UAE to 47 for 6 at the halfway mark of their innings. But Patil held firm, hitting Herath for a six, playing a late cut off Milinda Siriwardana for a boundary and taking two fours off Dushmantha Chameera in the 15th over to bring the equation to 53 off the last five overs. Patil kept trying to find the boundaries but he, too, fell to a Malinga slower ball, giving the bowler a simple return catch. Patil top-scored with 37 off 36 balls with the three fours and two sixes, and he added 38 runs for the seventh wicket with Javed, who scored 13 off 18 balls.

Malinga completed his four-wicket haul when he removed Mohammad Naveed in his last over. Kulasekara took 3 for 10 while Herath finished with two.

The first half of the game, however, was an altogether different picture as Javed took three wickets while Naveed and Shahzad picked up two each. Mustafa also took one wicket as Sri Lanka slumped after a strong start.

Sri Lanka had raced to 72 for 1 in the first ten overs but added only 57 in the next ten, for the loss of seven wickets. The first few wickets were down to their eagerness to find the big hits but UAE also curbed the runs at the death, conceding only three fours in the last five overs. They had started well enough with openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal adding 68 runs before the former was easily caught at the deep square leg boundary to give Javed his first wicket.

Dilshan was hit on the hand and on the helmet in his usual effort to destabilise the bowlers. Siriwardana, who like Chandimal was given a batting promotion, fell to Javed's short ball two overs later, with Saqlain Haider taking a great running catch at the deep midwicket boundary.

From 79 for 2 in the 12th over, Sri Lanka could have been looking at 200 but Chandimal fell one ball after raising his 50 off 38 deliveries. His knock included seven fours and the only six of Sri Lanka's innings. Shahzad took a tumbling catch at midwicket on top of the 30-yard ring to send back Chandimal and give Javed his third wicket.

Dasun Shanaka gave Anwar a simple catch at mid-off to make it 98 for 4, and Sri Lanka faltered after Mathews fell leg-before to Mustafa and Shehan Jayasuriya was bowled trying to play a second successive scoop. Shahzad snapped up the wickets of Kapugedera and Kulasekara in the last over to give UAE the momentum and confidence they needed to cause an upset.

That, however, was a bridge too far for the side, who will now look forward to their match against Bangladesh on Friday.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Adel on February 29, 2016, 3:59 GMT

    Future Asia cups should only be confined amongst the top four (IND, PAK, BD and SL). Minnows should have their own asia cup. I can not stand to see India playing against UAE or lowly afganistan or HK. Its a shame and embarrassement.

  • Dinesh on February 27, 2016, 4:34 GMT

    SL is current T20 holder and Asia Cup holder ,equaling India's tally in Asia Cup 5. Can upset any team in given match.

  • Dilan on February 27, 2016, 2:23 GMT

    Thanx to malinga and chandimal bring back the game but not enough poor performance batting cant play like this with big teams batters have to come to form fielding cant miss catchers run out low scoring game also sum dumb shots playing batters disappoint to to see in tv pick the right bowl to play hope fix the mistakes next game and move forward good luck also have to find right combination batting order bowling according to pitch play according to pitch and team 150-180 good score build the partnership score weak bowler ones make 2 play softly

  • Priyal on February 26, 2016, 15:16 GMT

    Kapugedera needs to bat at 3. My tean & Batting order should be: 1)Dilshan 2)Chandimal 3)Kapugedera 4)Mathews 5)Siriwardena 6)Kulasekera 7) Thisara Perera/Shanaka 8) VandeSay 9) Chameera 10) Herath 11) Malinga

  • S on February 26, 2016, 15:08 GMT

    The UAE side is lot better the SL barring Melinga. The top three sides in this Asia cup are India, Pakistan and BD.. with UAE more likely #4 and SL the #5

  • Chanaka on February 26, 2016, 14:16 GMT

    Well played UAE. Superb bowling attack. Kapu should come at No.03 or No.04. Don't waste his talent by sending him low down the order. Hoping to see some better performance in the next match.

  • Weeramuni on February 26, 2016, 13:21 GMT

    I like this word implementation :- RAJCAN ON FEBRUARY 25, 2016, 14:26 GMT If Thissara is promoted in T20, he will be another Chris Gayle, with his power, even a top edge or mishit would fly to the boundary as it is often with Chris Gayle. Thissara is always brought when there is only few balls left to ball and he is expected as a slogger. He is better batsman than a slogger.

  • santhosh on February 26, 2016, 13:04 GMT

    As i predicted earlier SL is really running out of good players nowadays. After their seniors Sanga and Mahela retired they left a big void in the batting department, once malinga retires it will be even more difficult for them. They need to groom this young team carefully or else it will be a disaster for SL. It will be a good idea if they could pull Mahela & Sanga to mentor the players from Under 19 like what Ind are doing right now. That will be a good start.

  • Nadeeke on February 26, 2016, 13:00 GMT

    Sri Lankan selectors.. This batting line up is just perfect. No matter what happen in next matches please dont change it. Well done UAE .. U have a great future

  • marino on February 26, 2016, 12:26 GMT

    Not to worry... As usual Sri Lanka will deliver in T20 world cup as they do in any tournament...! Sri Lanka get find out and struggle only in one to one series', but when it comes to world cups and similar tournaments, where you focus one match at a time against a given opposition, there is no better team in the world than Sri Lanka..! This is an obvious fact people usually forgets, Sri Lanka are the only team to be in 5 worldcup finals (both T20 in ODIs combined) out of last 7 worldcups played in past decade...!

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