Lasith Malinga says he has no regrets at not playing for Sri Lanka in the Test series against Australia after recording the second-best figures in world Twenty20 history.
The Sri Lankan speedster with the unique slinging action reminded the world just how good he is when he took six wickets for seven runs off four amazing overs as he spearheaded Melbourne Stars to a 10-wicket victory over Perth Scorchers at the WACA on Wednesday night.
It ensured the Scorchers were bowled out for just 69, the lowest score in Australian domestic T20.
Malinga’s 6-7 is the second-best spell of bowling in Twenty20 cricket at first-class level in the world, only bettered by Arul Suppiah’s 6-5 for Somerset against Glamorgan in July 2011 and it knocks off Michael Dighton’s 6-25 as the best figures in Australian T20 cricket.
How Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, with an inexperienced seam-bowling line-up, would love to have Malinga available for the first Test against Australia starting on Friday in Hobart.
But the paceman has no thoughts of going back on his retirement from the long form of the game.
He last played a Test for Sri Lanka against India in August 2010 and, while he won’t be there against Australia, he’s confident the Sri Lankans can do well.
“The thing is that I’m retired already and I have concentrated on T20 and ODI, and that’s it,” said Malinga.
“We have good young bowlers in the side now and the best option to Sri Lanka is to introduce new fast bowlers.
“Sri Lanka are a good side and a fighting side, and they will give it a good fight but the Aussies are a good side as well.
“I think they (Sri Lanka) can (win the series). Most of the time the best team wins in Test match cricket, but they will give it a good fight.”
As for the side that Malinga, Shane Warne (1-9 from three overs) and the Stars beat on Wednesday, the Scorchers have some soul searching to do after two disappointing home losses to the Strikers and now the Stars.
Captain Simon Katich is trying to remain positive, though, and is looking forward to welcoming South African Alfonso Thomas and potentially welcoming back Shaun Marsh for Sunday’s clash in Sydney against defending champions the Sixers.
“You have to try to move on quickly. It’s one of those things in Twenty20 where someone has a day out to put you on the back foot and, the way things panned out, the game ended up almost in a farce really,” Katich said.
After dismissing the Scorchers for just 69, the visitors raced to 0-29 after two overs before heavy rain fell, forcing the players from the field for more than an hour.
The game came within 10 minutes of being called off, but the rain eventually eased to allow play to resume.
Well ahead under the Duckworth-Lewis system, the game bizarrely needed just one more delivery for a result.
“There’s no doubt that we have a road trip going to Sydney and Brisbane, but having him (Thomas) on board is a huge bonus with his experience and the role he will play in our team.
“We will possibly get Shaun back from injury as well and that’s a big confidence boost.” (AAP)