Karunaratne hails ‘legend’ Malinga after Leeds masterclass

Monday, 24 June 2019 00:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Leeds, Reuters: Lasith Malinga is a “legend” and his four-wicket masterclass in Sri Lanka’s shock victory against England has set an example for his team mates, Captain Dimuth Karunaratne said on Friday. 

Lasith Malinga celebrates taking the wicket of England’s Jos Buttler Action Images via Reuters

The 35-year-old pacer with coloured curls and a sling-shot action derailed England’s chase after Angelo Mathews’ unbeaten 85 had powered the 1996 champions to what appeared a below-par 232-9.  

Malinga flew home twice during the tournament after his mother-in-law’s death and Karunaratne was impressed by the bowler’s professionalism. 

“I think he’s a legend. He know what he has to do,” Karunaratne said after his team’s victory by 20 runs against the world number one side. “Whatever he does, we know he is giving his best. So that is why I said to him ‘if you want to go home and come back that is fine’. He came back and set a good example for the rest of the guys.” Off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva (3-32) and seamer Isuru Udana (2-41) offered good support but England could never really recover after Malinga had wrecked their top order. 

“He just keeps doing what he does best, that is the main thing,” Karunaratne said of his pace spearhead.