Colombo: Lasith Malinga recorded his second World Cup hat-trick and a career-best 6-38 to spark Sri Lanka’s crushing nine-wicket win over Kenya in the World Cup here on Tuesday.
The 27-year sling-action bowler, who missed Sri Lanka’s opening two matches due to a back strain, trapped Tanmay Mishra (nought) lbw with the last ball of his seventh over.
At the start of his next, he bowled Peter Ongondo and Shem Ngoche in successive balls to complete his hat-trick, finishing the innings at 142 in 43.4 overs, by bowling Elijah Otieno (0) to complete a four-wicket burst off six balls.
Sri Lanka polished off the runs in just 18.4 overs with Tillakaratne Dilshan (44) and Upul Tharanga (67 not out) giving the co-hosts a flying start with a first-wicket stand of 72 by the ninth over.
Even after Dilshan’s 30-ball knock, which was spiced with eight boundaries, skipper Kumar Sangakkara (27 not out) and Tharanga polished off the runs with more than 31 overs to spare, completing another miserable day for Kenya.
Tharanga hit 12 boundaries during his rampaging 59-ball knock, his fifth World Cup half-century.
The win put Sri Lanka back on track in Group A after losing to Pakistan by a narrow 11-run margin on Saturday.
The 1996 champions, who won their first match against Canada by 210 runs, now have four points from three games. They next play defending champions Australia here on Saturday.
It was all Malinga in the afternoon after Kenya, who chose to bat, were on track for a near-200 total but lost their last eight wickets for a mere 40 runs with Malinga the destroyer-in-chief.
Malinga’s previous best of 5-34 was recorded against Pakistan at Dambulla last year.
His hat-trick is the seventh in all World Cup matches and came just a day after West Indian Kemar Roach took three-in-three against the Netherlands in New Delhi.
But the curly-haired Malinga is the only man to have two hat-tricks in World Cup history, his first coming against South Africa at Guyana in the 2007.
Kenya, shot out for 69 against New Zealand and 112 against Pakistan, started disastrously with Nuwan Kulasekara dismissing opener Morris Ouma (one) in the second over before Malinga had Seren Waters (three) lbw in the next.
Brothers Collins Obuya (52) and David Obuya (51) steadied the innings during their snail-paced, 94-run partnership which came off 178 balls before Malinga broke the family association, by bowling Collins Obuya.
Collins Obuya, whose five wickets helped Kenya upset Sri Lanka at the 2003 World Cup, hit four boundaries during his sedate 100-ball knock. His elder brother hit three fours during his 106-ball innings.
With Malinga firing all cylinders, four of the last seven batsmen failed to score.
Kenya, who have no points after three matches, now face fellow minnows Canada in New Delhi on March 7.(AFP)