Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 4th ODI, Colombo June 17, 2012

Jayawardene credits Malinga for turnaround


Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, while praising the effort of Thisara Perera, who swung the fourth ODI Sri Lanka's way with a hat-trick, said a lot of credit should go to Lasith Malinga for setting it all up. Pakistan needed 78 to win from 76 deliveries with eight wickets in hand when Malinga dismissed Misbah-ul-Haq for 57 to trigger a collapse which had them crumbling from 166 for 2 to 179 for 9.

"Lasith gave us that momentum. A couple of overs of aggressive bowling put them on the back foot and created a bit of doubt in their minds," Jayawardene said. "Lasith triggered it off and [Nuwan] Kulasekera picked up Umar [Akmal] so those two senior bowlers did the damage upfront and then Thisara came and bowled probably one of the best overs I've seen. He needed a bit of luck but at the same time he put the ball in the right areas to create those opportunities. It was a great team effort. I am very proud of the boys."

Jayawardene said the game could have gone either way when Pakistan took the batting Powerplay at the start of the 36th over at 152 for 2. "It's tough for the batsman to go after the batting Powerplay. You have to take calculated risks and try and get some momentum with the field up," Jayawardene said. "I knew that either we could lose the match in the 45th over or we could get 2-3 wickets and get back into the game. It went our way and the bowlers should take credit. In that situation they put their hands up and bowled well."

Jayawardene welcomed the return to form of his former captain Kumar Sangakkara who scored a fluent 97 following a string of low scores. After a slow start, Sangakkara benefited from a dropped catch to dominate the 110-run fourth-wicket partnership with Jayawardene. "I am not too worried about Kumar's performances because I know that when he struggles for a couple of games he is much hungrier for big runs. He is definitely sure to get one big but the wicket played a part in it. It was a bit slow so it took him some time to get going. Once Kumar and myself got together I just told him, 'let's try and take the bowlers on' because we had to push the run-rate. Once we got that momentum both of us batted really well."

"It's about understanding each other's game. It was important that in the first 20-30 overs we didn't lose too many wickets. Kumar did that pretty well but when three wickets fell around him he had to hold back but when he wanted to go he went. It was a very good team effort a lot of guys took responsibility in different situations and performed well."

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  • Shehan on June 18, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    All of you who have commented on this article favoring malinga, doesnt know a lot about Sri Lankan cricket. Dont forget that Mahela is managed by the same guy who manages malinga, hence the support. Malinga is a very rare and one of the worlds best end over bowlers, no doubt. But Malinga's commitment to SL cricket will always be a doubt. Some one has commented that the IPL is like getting a high paid salary, I believe cricketers and sportsmen generally are very loyal to their country and put country over self for the simple fact that they are currently who they are bcoz the responsible authority gave him the opportunity and guidance to get to where they are today. So you really cannot look at it like getting a high paid job else where. I would love to see what all these ppl say if Dhoni or shewag plays for the big bash and retires from indian test cricket! Would you still look at it like they being offered a high paid salary!!

  • Denham on June 18, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    to all those who make baseless allegations towards this great bowler, during this whole series he has showed what he can do and who he is and his commitment towards our country bowling his heart out always..... atleast now shut up and appreciate what he offers to SLC and to SL...... MALINGAAAAAAAA!!!! always with u

  • Nipuna on June 18, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    Im sick of people bashing malinga about money over country. Malinga going to IPL is same as being offered a job with a higher salary and taking it. Playing cricket is at the end of the day a job and choosing the best place to work is his choice. and its not like he has turned his back on sri lankan cricket completely.

  • Nitharshanan on June 17, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    well done malinga.i am a srilankan and i love ipl.but country is more important,anyhow as a srilankan criketer malinga can get enaugh money for himself.He always delivers same goods to any team he plays.stop basing malinga.

  • Randolph on June 17, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Well done to the guy who put money above his country.

  • Harsha on June 17, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Good answer by mahela for all Malinga bashers....Malinga have and will give his best to his/our country as long as he can..he did not rejected his countrymen though most of his countrymen deserted him when he was sick and had no money for his one should criticize a honest words of a village boy who gives his all for his country.and everyone should accept that he is a human being and due to his physical limitations he must make the most while he is fit for his one who is criticizing him will feed him or his wife when he is all the best to you Malinga and hope you will have the strength to play for our great country as long as possible...

  • Heshan on June 17, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    Soo true..Mali the man!!!!

  • Nival on June 17, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    for those who all blabbered about malinga playing for money and favouring the diferent shade of blue(in the form of MIs)..just wait..there's more to come,,malinga's human, like all of he will surely do his best to serve his country as long as possible..its the job of administrators n captain to preserve him n use him properly..i never doubted his motives and never will..afterall he didnt leave his national team to play in ipl like some WI guys..and even their decisions was justified by here in SL its very sad to hear malinga getting all the criticism may be for sth he said..just wait n see before u pass judgements..happy for the slinger:)

  • Gajith on June 17, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Great Match!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on June 17, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    Malinga may refuce SLC contract but he will never rufuce to give his best for SL

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