Lasith Malinga scripts this special T20I record: Details here
Veteran Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga set the record for the most T20I wickets after surpassing former Pakistan great Shahid Afridi. However, despite bowling his heart out, Malinga saw his side falter against New Zealand in the first T20I. The Kiwis have taken a crucial 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Here's more on the same.
Malinga (2/23) has raced to 99 career T20I scalps. He claimed the wickets of Colin Munro and Colin de Grandhomme. The veteran pacer is now the leading wicket-taker in T20Is and is one short of the mark of 100. Afridi held the record all this while with 98 scalps to his name. Malinga scripted this tally in his 74th match at 19.53.
Malinga, who made his T20I debut in 2006, has been highly influential in the format. He has been one of the legends of the game and one expects him to give his all until the ICC World T20 in 2020. Malinga had recently retired from ODIs. He finished with 338 career ODI scalps. He had earlier picked up 101 Test wickets.
Lankan opening batsman Kusal Mendis slammed a superb 79. This was his highest T20I score and his fifth career fifty as well. Tim Southee (2/20) raced to 69 career T20I scalps. He equaled Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi. Ross Taylor (1,627) surpassed MS Dhoni's tally of 1,617 runs in T20Is. Munro amassed his fifth career T20I duck.
Lanka posted a spirited 174/4 after Mendis' delights. Avishka Fernando struggled for Lanka, who would have wanted another 10-15 runs on the board. Southee and Santner bowled well for the Kiwis, whereas, Seth Rance had a dismal outing. In reply, Kiwis were reduced to 39/3. However, Grandhomme (44) and Taylor (48) stitched a valuable stand to help Kiwis win by five wickets.