Lasith Malinga became the highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket in the first T20I of the three-match series against New Zealand at Pallekele International Stadium on Sunday. Malinga was just two wickets away from getting past Shahid Afridi’s tally of wickets in T20I cricket before the match.
The Sri Lankan skipper opened the bowling for his team and got the wicket of Colin Munro with an in-swinging yorker to send him back to the pavillion for a golden duck.
The 36-year-old came back into the attack when the Kiwis were making their way back into the game and got the wicket of Colin de Grandhomme with another yorker squaring up the all-rounder.
However, he could not finish well as he gave 15 runs in the penultimate over leaving just three runs to defend for Isuru Udana which led to New Zealand losing the match by five wickets.
Former Pakistani all-rounder Afridi has 98 wickets to his name from 99 innings. He is followed by Shakib Al Hasan (88 wickets), Umar Gul (85 wickets), Saeed Ajmal (85 wickets), Rashid Khan (75 wickets). Tim Southee is in the top-ten as well with 69 wickets from 59 matches. The stand-in Kiwi skipper took two wickets in the T20I.
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 1, 2019
Earlier Malinga won the toss and elected to bat first. Opener Kusal Mendis’ 53-ball 79 and Isuru Udana’s late strikes helped hosts post 174 for 4 in the first innings.