Sport

Malinga poses big T20 danger to Australia

by
February 17, 2017

Sri Lanka's T20 cricket captain Lasith Malinga gestures during a practice session at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo on July 29, 2015. Sri Lanka and Pakistan first Twenty20 International match will be played from July 30 at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium. AFP PHOTO / ISHARA S KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

The first over of Sri Lanka's Twenty 20 tour was a stark reminder for Australia that paceman Lasith Malinga poses a huge threat.

Malinga has finally returned after being out of action for nearly a year because of injury and illness.

He opened the bowling in the warm-up game on Wednesday against a Prime Minister's XI in Canberra.

Malinga's fourth delivery was an unplayable yorker that uprooted D'Arcy Short's middle stump.

"We've seen him do that a lot before, so it was probably not surprising," Australian batsman Michael Klinger said.

"It's great to see one of the greats of the game back and we'll obviously have to counter his bowling."

Australia and Sri Lanka will start their three-game T20 international series on Friday night at the MCG.

Commentator Stuart Clark has derided the series as the Who Cares Cup, given several top Australian players are unavailable because of the Indian Test tour.

But it is massive for Klinger, who is set to finally make his Australian debut at the age of 36.

Sri Lanka are closer to their full T20 line-up, although Angelo Mathews is also out because of a hamstring injury and Upul Tharanga will captain the team instead.

Each of the T20s will be a double-header, with the Australian women playing New Zealand in the afternoon ahead of the men's match.

The Southern Stars are missing star allrounder Ellyse Perry, who is recovering from a hamstring injury.

She has been named in the squad for the one-day of New Zealand tour later this month but is yet to prove her fitness.

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