ENG vs SL: Dimuth Karunaratne hails ‘legend’ Lasith Malinga

The Sri Lankan captain was all praise for Lasith Malinga after the latter’s match-winning four-wicket haul against England.

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne heaped praise on seasoned veteran Lasith Malinga, who claimed four wickets to help his team pull off a stunning victory against England here on Friday.

“I think he’s a legend. He knows what he has to do. Whatever he does, he is doing his best,” Karunaratne said.

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Malinga’s mother-in-law passed away last week, forcing him to head home after the game against Australia. The team even advised him to stay back with the family at this time of crisis. But Malinga returned and played a match-winning role. “Had he wanted, he could have stayed back, but he returned. So, he gave a good example for the rest of the guys,” Karunaratne said.

“He just keeps doing what he knows, that is the main thing, the basic things. I think he did really [a] good job and even Angelo [Mathews], both of them did a really good job,” the captain added.

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Initially the wicket looked like batting-friendly, but it got tougher as the Sri Lankan innings progressed. “When we are batting, we take some advice from Angelo. He said ‘It's getting slower and slower.’ So, he said we couldn’t get 280, 300, but if you can get 250, 240, it’s a good total on this wicket.”

“I think he is a good finisher, I think he did really well, a good job, and hit his area really very well on this track, I think that is what he did. And all of the middle-order batsmen contributed really well once the openers went early; I think they did a really good job,” Karunaratne said.

Sri Lanka plays South Africa next.