“My time is over”: Malinga signs off in style

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COLOMBO: Lasith Malinga shone in his farewell match after Kusal Perera struck a quick-fire century as Sri Lanka crushed Bangladesh by 91 runs in the first one-day of a three-match series in Colombo on Friday.

Malinga rattled Bangladesh with his fiery opening spell, reducing the visitors to 39-4 in the process, without allowing them to recover from the damage despite the best efforts by Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman.

Sri Lanka’s bowler Lasith Malinga who plays his career last one-day international cricket match is congratulated by his teammates during the first one-day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, July 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

“I feel it’s the right time for me to retire from ODIs. I have been playing for the last 15 years for Sri Lanka and this is the right time to move on,” Malinga, who finished his ODI career with 338 wickets, said after the game. “My time is over and I have to go.”

Malinga took the final wicket fittingly to end the brief entertainment by Mustafizur, who made 18 off 14 balls before being caught by Thisara Perera at mid-off.

Malinga is Sri Lanka’s third-highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket and has scalped 335 wickets in the format so far. Only Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas have more wickets than him in ODI cricket.

The 35-year-old was the team’s highest wicket-taker in the recently concluded ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. He took 13 wickets in the tournament from seven innings.

The pacer had retired from Test cricket in 2011, but he has continued to play other formats since then. Sri Lanka had finished at the sixth position in the World Cup as the side won three matches from nine games.