Lasith Malinga leads the bowlers

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Lasith Malinga waiting for the stumps to move

It’s nice to see bowlers being decisive in a Twenty20 match. Far too often they might as well just glue different mugshots onto a bowling machine and use that instead.

In the Champions League final, Mumbai successfully defended 139. For a large proportion of the match, the commentators were talking up Chris Gayle and how amazing a Twenty20 batsman he is. Gayle is amazing, but he specialises in hitting sixes slightly more frequently and slightly more reliably than other six-hitting batsmen. It might seem like he’s the perfect Twenty20 player because of that, but even the sport’s ball-whoppiest format presents different challenges from time to time.

Gayle was actually dismissed by Harbhajan Singh, who finished with the best figures (3-20), but it was Lasith Malinga who stood out, not least because he’d also seemed like a monumental stumbling block for Somerset in the semi final.

In that match, the Zoidermen had needed 29 runs from 18 balls, 12 of which were to be bowled by Malinga. Based on how he was bowling, they basically concluded that they needed to score 14 off his two overs and 15 off the other, no matter who bowled it. Some have been at pains to stress the importance of James Franklin’s performance, but we’d give half the credit for that over to the Malinga-enforced run recalculation.


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  1. Amazing the results you get with a decent wicket that allows your bowlers to bowl. The bowlers from both SA and NSW can feel a little aggrieved at the raw deal they got from the Bangalore groundstaff.

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