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March 28, 2007
In his first four overs, Malinga struggled to find any swing or seam movement and leaked 37 runs, including six fours. With the old ball in hand, though, Malinga was a completely transformed bowler. He bowled at more than 140 kmph and, crucially, got the ball to reverse-swing, ensuring that the length which had earlier been so easy to score off suddenly became almost unplayable. The result was an unprecedented four wickets in four balls - the closest any bowler has come to it is Saqlain Mushtaq, who took four wickets in five balls against Zimbabwe at Peshawar in 1996-97.
|Length||First 4 overs - balls||Runs||Last 5.2 - balls||Runs|
Malinga's performance underscored, once again, the fact that he is at his most potent when bowling in the last few overs of an ODI innings. As the table below shows, the average runs he concedes per wicket in the last 25 is half the number in the first 25.
|First 25 overs||950||638||22||29.00||4.02|
|Last 25 overs||509||404||28||14.42||4.76|
There weren't any starting problems for Langeveldt, though, as he took over from a lacklustre Shaun Pollock - who has now gone for 129 off 18 wicketless overs in two games - and immediately staunched the flow of runs and nailed wickets. The Sri Lankan batsmen managed an in-control percent of 74 against him - much lesser than the corresponding stat against other bowlers - which suggests that Langeveldt fully deserved the five wickets he got.
Langeveldt has now taken both his ODI five-fors in the West Indies, where he averages 19.85 runs per wicket at a strike rate of 23 - both stats are much better than his career numbers.
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