Sri Lanka pace spearhead Lasith Malinga became the highest wicket-taker in the shortest format of the game on Sunday with his 99th scalp in the first Twenty20 match against New Zealand, surpassing Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi.
Lasith Malinga bowled New Zealand opener Colin Munro in the first over of the New Zealand chase and equalled Shahid Afridi’s record of 98 wickets. The veteran then dismissed Colin de Grandhomme, for 44, and achieved the feat in his 74th T20 match of his brilliant career. The 36-year old retired from the longest format of the game in 2011 and played his final One Day International game in July,
Afridi, on the other hand, also captained Pakistan and played 99 T20 matches. However, Malinga’s effort went in vain as Ross Taylor hit 48 off 29 deliveries to help his side win by five wickets and lead the three-match T20I series by 1-0. Lasith Malinga finished a figure of 2-23 from his four overs.
The veteran pacer conceded just eight runs from his first three overs but his fourth and the 19th over of the game cost 15 runs that led the Black Caps to a five-wicket victory. Malinga, who is known for his bowling style, mainly yorkers, made his T20 debut in 2006 against England. He has 101 scalps from 30 Tests and 338 wickets in 226 ODI games as well.