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ICC World Cup
Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga marked his first appearance of the World Cup with a hat-trick among a career-best haul of 6-38 as Kenya were thrashed by nine wickets.
Malinga was held out of the co-hosts' first two matches - a win over Canada and defeat to Pakistan - with a back strain but wasted little time in leaving his stamp on the competition after Kenya opted to bat first in the Group A fixture at Colombo's RPS.
He removed Seren Waters in his opening spell before the Obuya brothers, Collins (52) and David (51), put on 94 for the third wicket, each advancing to painstaking half-centuries as Kenya rallied from 8-2.
But, from the heights of 102-2, the Africans - who had been bowled out for 69 and 112 in their previous games - once again collapsed in a heap, albeit in the face of some inspired bowling.
Malinga started the meltdown with the dismissal of Collins Obuya, hitting the base of off-stump straight after the batsman had completed a 95-ball 50.
David Obuya also went shortly after reaching his landmark, holing out to Thilan Samaraweera at deep square-leg off Muttiah Muralitharan (1-24).
Malinga ripped through the lower order with his trademark yorkers, starting with the final delivery of the 42nd over when Tanmay Mishra was trapped lbw.
Mishra reviewed umpire Tony Hill's decision but the on-field call stood despite Malinga's front foot being perilously close to a no-ball, only the merest fraction of his heel - at best - was behind the line.
Peter Ongondo and Shem Ngoche were then bowled from consecutive balls at the start of the 44th over - near identical swinging yorkers - to complete the seventh hat-trick in World Cup history, just a day after West Indies paceman Kemar Roach's against the Netherlands.
Four years ago in the Caribbean, Malinga claimed four in four balls against South Africa and, although he failed to replicate that feat, he did manage four in six deliveries, polishing off Kenya's last man Elijah Otieno in the now familiar fashion.
The 27-year-old's haul was all the more remarkable given that it was all his own work - no team-mates were required to help as he hit the stumps four times, to go with two lbws.
He is the only man with two World Cup hat-tricks to his name - the others to have achieved one are compatriot Chaminda Vaas, Roach, Brett Lee of Australia, Pakistan's Saqlain Mushtaq and Chetan Sharma of India.
Tillakaratne Dilshan led the way with 44 off 30 balls as Sri Lanka made light work of their modest target.
Dilshan carved eight boundaries before being cramped for room and edging behind off Elijah Otieno (1-26) in the ninth over.
But that rare moment of success for Kenya - Otieno's animated celebration included a kiss for the badge on his shirt - was merely the signal for Dilshan's opening partner Upul Tharanga to go into overdrive.
The left-hander went to his 19th ODI half-century from 54 balls and then hit four of his next five deliveries to the boundary to seal Sri Lanka's victory in the 19th over.
Tharanga finished with 67 not out from 59 balls to see his side across the line with 188 deliveries to spare.
Sri Lanka are next in action against Australia on March 5, while Kenya - after being drubbed by New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, have a chance to break their duck against fellow minnows Canada on March 7.World Cup. Click here to bet.
How is Malinga's bowling action leagal?? When he releases the ball his hand is right infront of the umpire, how is the batsman supposed to see this????
Posted 15:08 2nd March 2011
A pathetic performance from Kenya. Why would a team this weak opt to bat first when they clearly aren't capable of posting a score. The sooner these cricketing minnows are out of the competition and the proper teams start playing each other the better. Truely pathetic.
Posted 17:32 1st March 2011
Steve Sheekey.....No its not a no ball if when he is planted part of his foot is behind the line, it doesnt matter where he ends up, its where he first puts his foot down.
Posted 16:53 1st March 2011
Was Malinga's first wicket of his hat-trick a no ball? When his front foot was first planted, part of his heel was behind the line but by the time he actually delivers the ball his foot is beyond the line and his heel is in the air. This distinction is always made on stumpings and runouts.
Posted 14:22 1st March 2011