Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo, 1st day July 3, 2007

First over the most important - Malinga

  shares



Malinga: 'My fast bowling coach, Champaka Ramanayake, has instilled in me that the first ball of the match is the most important' © AFP

Lasith Malinga began Bangladesh's slide towards their lowest total in Test cricket in his first over and proceeded to blow away the top four batsmen to finish with 4 for 25 in nine overs on the first day at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo.

"For me the first over is the best. I put in a lot of effort in that over to capture as many wickets as possible," said Malinga after the day's play. "My fast bowling coach, Champaka Ramanayake, has instilled in me that the first ball of the match is the most important. I begin every match with that attitude. I give the ball 100%."

Malinga said Bangladesh's dismal batting was not due to poor technique but because Sri Lanka made use of the conditions and bowled well. He said the ball swung more here than at the SSC on the first day probably due to the overnight rain. When questioned whether playing against a weak side like Bangladesh brought him easy wickets, Malinga replied: "I try to obtain wickets with variations. I don't' think any side gives you wickets easily. It's a challenge for me to take wickets. There are a lot of fast bowlers on the fringe waiting to get into the side. So it's a challenge to perform well to be in the team."

Malinga said there was intense competition for places in the team. "With Murali going for [Shane] Warne's record, [Chaminda] Vaas having taken over 300 Test wickets and two other fast bowlers supporting them, there is competition in our bowling line-up to take wickets. Murali doesn't have the pressure he used to have because every one of us is taking wickets."