Malinga’s perfect response to an emotional farewell
The chants of ‘Mali..Mali’ followed by a guard of honour from his teammates provided a heroes reception to Sri Lanka’s legendary fast bowler Lasith Malinga as he walked onto the ground for one last time in ODI cricket in the first of a three-match series against Bangladesh. It did not take long for Malinga to pick up his first wicket in the very first over, that too off a trademark toe-crusher yorker, as he bowled the Tigers’ stand-in captain Tamim Iqbal, who lost his balance and fell to the ground. Indeed, this is how heroes leaves the stage in style.
The true gentleman’s gesture from Kusal Mendis
Sri Lanka were right on top of Bangladesh as they reached the 200-run mark in just the 31st over of the innings. Although they lost centurion Kusal Perera in the previous over after the batsman had added a hundred run-third wicket stand with Kusal Mendis. The last thing the home side would have wanted at that juncture was losing any more wickets but for Mendis it was sportsmanship which too priority over that. There was a mild appeal of a caught behind from Rubel Hossain in the 34th over with wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim and the umpire remaining unmoved but Mendis took the walk back to the dressing room and set an example of honesty. He could have easily survived at least that part of the game. Mendis, who was dropped on 28 by Mahmudullah at long-on, was back in the hut after scoring 43 as television replays revealed the light touch the ball had on his bat.