Bengaluru, Feb 9: South Africa versus Sri Lanka clashes in the World Cup have always been entertaining. While the Sri Lankans earned a surprising victory against a formidable South African side in the 1992 edition, they lost in the 1999 edition while chasing a modest score of 199 and the rain-hit match in the 2003 edition ended in a tie, knocking hosts South Africa out of the tournament. [Kapil Dev's 175* against Zimbabwe in 1983]
But the best of the encounters between these two sides was yet to come and it was in the 2007 edition held in the West Indies. [Sourav Ganguly slammed 183 against Sri Lanka in 1999]
It was a Super Eight clash between the two sides with a 1-1 record at the World Cup and it was the first match of both teams. Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardena won the toss in the match played at Georgetown and decided to bat. [Scorecard]
It was an ordinary batting display by the Asians as only Tillakarathne Dilshan and Russel Arnold scored half-centuries to pull out their team from trouble and help them cross 200. Sri Lanka were all out for 209 in 49.3 overs with Charl Langeveldt taking 5 for 39. His last three wickets came in his final over. [Chetan Sharma's hat-trick against NZ in 1987]
The Proteas reached 206 for 5 in the 45th over and were just a shot away from victory. Malinga was handed over the ball for the 45h over and what he did next was a fairy tale. In an unprecedented display of death bowling, the man with the bleached-blond hairstyle ran through South Africa's lower-middle order by taking four wickets in four deliveries.
Pollock, Hall, Kallis and Ntini dismissed in 4 successive balls
He castled Shaun Pollock (13) in the fifth ball and got Andrew Hall caught at cover the very next ball. His opening bowling partner Chaminda Vaas bowled a tight 46th over and conceded just 1 run.
South Africa required just 3 runs in 4 overs and Malinga began the 47th over. He got rid of a settled Jacques Kallis (86) in the very first ball as the batsman edged it to the wicket-keeper while attempting a loose drive. It was the fifth hat-trick in World Cup cricket. But Malinga did not stop there.
Malinga took another hat-trick against Kenya in the 2011 World Cup
The very next ball, he bowled a fast yorker to uproot Makhaya Ntini's middle stump to reduce South Africa to 207 for 9. The next ball was also a good one but missed Langeveldt's off stump by a whisker. No run was conceded in that over.
Vaas bowled a maiden 48th over and Malinga got yet another chance to give his team a victory. But the last pair of Robin Peterson and Langeveldt denied them the win and just about snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Sri Lankans lost the match but they proved their mettle as they went on to the final to lose against the mighty Australians.