Watch: Lasith Malinga becomes first to take four wickets in four balls in international cricket
Watch: During a 2007 World Cup match against South Africa, Lasith Malinga became the first to take four wickets in four balls in international cricket.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (58) and Russel Arnold (50) had helped Sri Lanka recover from 90-5 to reach 209 earlier in the day as Charl Langeveldt claimed 5-39.
Chaminda Vaas took out AB de Villiers for a duck, but Graeme Smith (59), Jacques Kallis (86), and Herschelle Gibbs (31) kept South Africa on course.
Muttiah Muralidaran then struck twice, but by the time Malinga (7.4-0-49-0) ran in to bowl to Shaun Pollock, the match was virtually decided. South Africa, after all, needed four runs to win from 32 balls. They had five wickets in hand.
Malinga went for the leg stump. The yorker came at 135.9 kph, slower than his usual pace. Pollock played inside the line and missed the ball completely, and the leg-stump was pegged back.
Malinga now greeted Andrew Hall with another slower ball. Hall was too early into his forward push, and the ball ballooned to Upul Tharanga at cover.
South Africa still needed four, but Malinga had to wait for another over. Kallis got a run off the next ball, and Robin Peterson played out Vaas’s over.
The 141.1 kph ball was outside off-stump. Kallis went for a cover-drive but could only edge it to Kumar Sangakkara. Malinga’s hat trick was the 24th in men’s ODIs, fifth in the World Cup, and third for Sri Lanka (the first two were both by Vaas).
But he was not done. With Makhaya Ntini on strike, out came the 144.7 kph yorker that would undo superior batters over the years to come. The ball hit middle-stump, and Malinga etched his name in history.
Alan Ward, Pollock, and Vasbert Drakes had taken four wickets in four balls in List A cricket before Malinga. David Payne, Graham Napier, Shrikant Mundhe, and Mashrafe Mortaza have done it after him. But Malinga remains the only one to have done it in ODIs.
The next ball missed the off-stump by a whisker. Langeveldt survived to tell the tale, and he even got a single off the fifth ball, then somehow survived an entire over from Vaas. Peterson hit the second ball of Malinga’s next over for four to seal the match.