Glad to strike form in the final: Malinga

Veteran MI pacer cherishes maiden IPL title, 100-plus wickets

By Harsh Kalan
Kolkata 27 May 2013
Over the last few years, Lasith Malinga’s name has been synonymous with the Mumbai Indians. The Sri Lankan Slinger has been the sharpest weapon in the MI arsenal with all the timely, unplayable yorkers that he is known to dish out.

However, this year Slinga Malinga had a relatively sedate season as per his own high standards. But come the IPL 2013 final, the veteran pacer did not disappoint. Eager to nudge his side over the line, Malinga gave MI the kind of start they had grown accustomed to in previous seasons.
“Until this match, I did not do anything for the team. So, I am really happy I did something special today in the first over itself,” said Malinga about the two crucial wickets – of Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina – he claimed up front.

According to the pacer, his bowling had somehow not clicked this season until the big game on Sunday. “Nothing much was different today. I had tried to do everything till now but I did not get good results. I always try to do my best, and that is why I feel great that I did something for the team today,” said an ecstatic Malinga.

His excitement was of course resulting from the fact that after coming close in previous years, MI were finally able to strike gold in the IPL. “It is a really good feeling. The thing is that over the past few years we have tried very hard but did not get the cup. But today that we have won it, I am really happy,” he said.

Malinga also made a special mention of all the MI fans, who are known to drown the Wankhede Stadium with rhythmic chants of ‘Malinga,’ ‘Malinga’ every time their curly-haired hero comes on to bowl. “The fans there love cricket. I really like playing in India so much. I have been really happy playing for the Mumbai Indians,” he said.

While Malinga may have blown hot and cold this season, he still managed to become the first bowler in the IPL to cross the 100-wicket mark. “I am really happy that I have played in the IPL for five years. I have 103 wickets now and I am the first bowler in the IPL to get to 100 wickets. Every year I am getting 20-odd wickets and I am just happy about my performance overall,” said Malinga, who got 20 scalps this year as well.  
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