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'Frustrated' Malinga Asks Top Order to Step Up

Skipper Lasith Malinga expressed his frustration over the performance of Sri Lanka's top-order after they lost the second Twenty20 International by 16 runs and gave South Africa an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series despite Isuru Udana's breathtaking 48-ball 84* from No. 8.

Cricketnext Staff |AFP |March 23, 2019, 2:04 AM IST
'Frustrated' Malinga Asks Top Order to Step Up

Skipper Lasith Malinga expressed his frustration over the performance of Sri Lanka's top-order after they lost the second Twenty20 International by 16 runs and gave South Africa an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series despite Isuru Udana's breathtaking 48-ball 84* from No. 8.

"The bowling went well, but towards the end they got a few runs in the last three overs. They got ten runs more than we expected. Very frustrating for us to lose games like these, especially with the top order batsmen. They have to learn what the team is expecting and provide good starts," said Malinga at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Chasing 181, Sri Lanka were reduced to 62 for 6 before Udana walked in and smashed eight fours and six maximums to almost pull off a heist. Apart from praising Udana, Malinga also spoke about his future plans.

"He (Isuru Udana) realized what responsibility he had and in future also he has a lot of job to do in national cricket. He’s the kind of player we need. He showed his character," he said.

"I will stick to my basics when bowling. I feel after World Cup I might try to play the T20 World Cup and probably that could be my last."

Meanwhile, South African captain JP Duminy heaped heavy praise on Reeza Hendricks (65), Rassie van der Dussen (64) and Chris Morris (3 for 32) who stood out amongst the rest.

"Always good to get a series win under the belt. All in all, a good team performance. He (Reeza Hendricks) is a quality player and you always knew something gonna turn for him. That partnership set up the game nicely for us," said Duminy.

"Udana played a fantastic innings, he got a few lives there but in the end we will take the win. He (Morris) enjoys this sort of responsibility and tonight he was sublime. The confidence he showed today was amazing. Steyn is a match winner and he always gives you something in the powerplay."

Van der Dussen, who added 116 runs for the second wicket with Hendricks, was named Man of the Match and the 30-year-old was quite satisfied with his performance.

"He (Reeza) played brilliantly. We played a lot together and we understand each other well. We know our strengths as well. He scores in different areas than I do and that's a huge challenge for the bowlers. Very satisfied. Every aspect of the game needs to be on point and I'm just trying to take these learnings and I'm constantly trying to improve."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5264 263
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9072 259
see more