Sri Lanka caused a major upset in the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup on Friday as they defeated tournament hosts England and after the win, Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunratne heaped praise on bowler Lasith Malinga, calling him a 'legend'.
Malinga was the main destructor with the ball for Sri Lanka as he took four wickets and allowed the team to defend a modest total of 232, registering a win by 20 runs.
"I think he's a legend. He knows what he has to do. He just keeps doing what he knows, that is the main thing, the basic things. Those things we want to set an example for the youngsters," International Cricket Council quoted Karunaratne as saying.
"I think the performance. Mally has been around for a long time. Him coming in and bowling like that isn't surprising at all," he added.
The 35-year-old Malinga also reached the milestone of 50 wickets in World Cups, making him the fourth bowler to achieve the feat after Glenn Mcgrath, Wasim Akram, and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Malinga made his debut in the year 2004 and he was even dropped from the national team in 2017, but ever since making his comeback to the side, he has shown exceptional resilience.
Even after defeating England, Sri Lanka's hopes of making the semi-finals remain dim in the ongoing World Cup as the team has just won two matches so far.
The team has suffered losses against New Zealand, Australia and their matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh had gotten abandoned due to rain.
However, the skipper still believes that Sri Lanka can progress to the semi-final stages, but he advocated the fact that the team should think about one game at a time.
"We want to go one by one - the next game is with South Africa. So we want to play and win that match, that is our main focus. So we keep focussing on that match so, after that, if we can win it, then we go for the next one. That is what we are planning, one by one," Karunaratne said.
Sri Lanka next takes on South Africa on June 28.
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