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“Lasith Malinga in action on Sunday. Kandy (Sri Lanka) (AFP) – Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga Sunday became the highest wicket-taker in Twenty20 internationals with his 99th scalp in the first match against New Zealand, surpassing Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi. Malinga, who retired from Test cricket in 2011 and played his farewell one-day international in July, bowled Colin Munro in the first over of the New Zealand chase to equal Afridi’s record of 98 wickets. The 36-year-old then cleaned up Colin de Grandhomme, for 44, to achieve the feat in his 74th T20 match of his illustrious career. Afridi, a leg-spinner who also captained Pakistan, played 99 T20 matches.
But Malinga’s effort was not enough as Ross Taylor struck 48 off 29 deliveries to help New Zealand win by five wickets and lead the three-match series 1-0. Malinga returned figures of 2-23 from his four overs. The veteran speedster gave away just eight runs from his first three overs but his fourth and the 19th of the innings cost 15 runs to let the Black Caps slip away with the game. Malinga, known for bowling yorkers with his slinging action, made his T20 debut against England in 2006.
He has 101 wickets from 30 Tests and 338 scalps in 226 ODI games.