Lasith Malinga made cricket history during Sri Lanka and New Zealand’s T20 International match at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
With the Kiwis having already won the series after Wednesday’s second clash, the 36-year-old went onto the pitch with a personal accolade in his sights.
Malinga – nicknamed ‘The Slinger’ – started the match one wicket short of becoming the first bowler to take 100 wickets in the shortened format.
The skipper was always likely to get it done in Balagolla, but nobody could’ve foreseen the remarkable display he went on produce.
Thanks to Malinga alone, New Zealand went from 15/0 to 15/4 in the space of a few deliveries in the third over of their innings.
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Yep, Malinga claimed four wickets in as many balls.
The assault began when he clean bowled Colin Munro (12), which was followed by the trapping of Hamish Rutherford (0) LBW.
Colin de Grandhomme (0) became his third victim before the removal of Ross Taylor (0) rounded out the feat.
Two overs later, Malinga made it five with his dismissal of Tim Seifert (8).
The effort has been achieved by no other T20I player in history, and also makes him the first man to register two or more hat-tricks in both the limited-overs formats.
The veteran has two T20I hat-tricks and three in ODIs.
It doesn’t end there, though – Malinga is now the only bowler in international cricket to claim 100 or more wickets each in each of the three formats of the game.
That’s not a bad day at the office for someone whose team were playing for nothing but pride.
Buoyed by Malinga’s magical spell, Sri Lanka marched on to secure a 37-run victory and end a series lost 2-1 on a uniquely high note.