Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga bowed out of the ODI cricket helping his side script a convincing 91-run win over Bangladesh in Colombo. The Slinga Malinga who finished his illustrious career with a wicket off the last delivery said that it is important to be a match-winner to sustain in the game for long.

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Have to be a match-winner: Malinga

Lasith Malinga was at his best as he claimed three wickets to hand Sri Lanka an easy win after ICC World Cup 2019 debacle. Chasing 315 runs, the visitors sustained early blows, thanks to two screamers from Malinga and they didn’t really recover from those blows. Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman gave them hope with a century stand for the fifth wicket but failed to take their side home. Fittingly enough, Malinga finished proceedings with his trademark slower delivery to return with three for 38 to bid goodbye to the ODI format of the game. With these three scalps, the legendary bowler took his tally to 338 wickets; thus, finishing at the ninth highest wicket-taker in ODIs overtaking India’s Anil Kumble.

Lasith Malinga. Credit: Getty Images

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The 35-year-old Lasith Malinga has been a champion throughout his career who managed to smoothen his team’s transition after Chaminda Vaas retired in 2004. Malinga urged the young bowlers to up their game to take the Sri Lankan cricket forward.

“I tried my best all through my career. I hope all the young bowlers do this as well. Because just surviving in cricket, I don’t think anyone can go far. You have to be a match-winner,” Malinga said at the presentation ceremony.

“That’s what I’m looking forward to in the future. These young bowlers have to get match-winning performances and people have to tell that’s a match-winning bowler. We have a couple of guys, they have the ability, we have to look after them,” he added.

Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Furthermore, Lasith Malinga thanked the fans and followers for supporting him throughout his 15-year-career. The fans at the R Premadasa stadium didn’t disappoint him, turning out in huge numbers. Malinga repaid the trust with a stellar show for one last time returning with three for 38.

“I’ve played the last 15 years for Sri Lanka. Really an honour to play and really happy to play for these people and for all the crowd that’s been behind me. I feel this is the time I have to move on because we have to build for the 2023 World Cup and that’s why I realised, okay, my time is up, I have to go,” he conlcuded.

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