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    April 08, 2005

    'Slinga' Malinga shines in drawn New Zealand-Sri Lanka test

    With New Zealand and Sri Lanka posting high first innings totals of 561 and 498, you'd have expected the first test to fizzle out into a boring draw. Malinga, who once hit Bradman during net practice, made the game an interesting draw, if ever there could be one, with a five wicket haul in New Zealand's second innings.

    New Zealand's huge first innings score was made possible primarily due to Hamish Marshall, who continued his good form of the season, Nathan Astle, Brendon McCullum, who missed out on a century by just a run and James Franklin, who made a half-century. Malinga took four wickets while the rest of the bowlers made no impression on the Kiwi batsmen. When Sri Lanka batted, Marvan Atapattu's century made him part of an elite group, those who have made a test century against nine test playing nations. Mahela Jayawardene also made a century but Sri Lanka could not sneak ahead of New Zealand's first innings total due to a lower order collapse. Chris Martin and James Franklin took four wickets each, with three of Franklin's being tailenders.

    By this time, the game was certain to be a draw, with only four sessions of play left. New Zealand, resumed from 64/2 and lost wickets at regular intervals and were in some serious trouble at 148/7. If Sri Lanka had got them all-out for around 175, they'd have had around 40 overs to score around 250 runs, which they would have definitely attempted, but for Fleming and Vincent batting out enough overs to prevent Sri Lanka from having any hopes of a chase.

    New Zealand will be keen to do anything possible to ensure that Sri Lanka, and Malinga in particular, do not carry the momentum onto the next game. Mohammad Sami, on Pakistan's last tour to New Zealand, had blown away New Zealand on the final day of a drawn first test and they went on to win the series thanks to another Kiwi collapse.
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 4:46 PM |
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    1 sledge(s):

    Malinga is a real find for Sri Lanka. He made his debut against Australia in July, and gave some of our guys a real hurry-up. He also did the same against New Zealand, and he's a dangerous opponent. He's developed a subtle slower ball that really is dangerous because if you miss it your likely to be trapped leg-before. A potential matchwinner, and if he stays fit, I think this guy will go on to take at least 200 wickets. Looking forward to seeing him give the Kiwis another hurry-up tomorrow.

    Scott Wickstein

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