Sri Lanka vs South Africa World Cup 2007

Lasith Malinga took a double hat-trick (four wickets in four balls) against South Africa in the 2007 World Cup.

Sri Lanka vs South Africa World Cup 2007
Umaima Saeed

Written by: Umaima Saeed

(Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Dillip Mohanty

(Sports Editor)

Last updated: 2023-10-11

When Lasith Malinga made history, but in a losing cause

Cricket has a long history of producing epic battles and unforgettable moments. The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup match between Sri Lanka and South Africa stands out as one such epic encounter in cricket history. This match, played on March 28, 2007, at Providence Stadium in Guyana, was filled with dramatic twists and turns. 

Sri Lanka vs South Africa, World Cup 2007 - Build up to the match

The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, the ninth edition of the tournament, was hosted by the West Indies and featured 16 teams from around the world. Sri Lanka was placed in Group B while South Africa found themselves in Group A. This was the opening Super 8 encounter for both teams. 
Sri Lanka, led by Mahela Jayawardene, had a balanced team with a potent mix of experienced batsmen and bowlers, including the deadly Lasith Malinga. South Africa, captained by Graeme Smith, boasted a strong batting lineup and a formidable bowling attack led by Shaun Pollock.
 

The Match 

Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first. Their top order batsmen got starts, but none of them were unable to stay on the crease for long. The top five in the batting order - Upul Tharanga (12), Sanath Jayasuriya (26), Mahela Jayawardene (12), Kumar Sangakkara (28) and Chamara Silva (9) together scored only 87 runs. 

Just when things started going downhill, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Russel Arnold scored half centuries to revive Sri Lanka. The duo constructed a sixth-wicket stand of 97 runs, before Dilshan was caught off Makhaya Ntini's bowling. Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 209 runs in the final over as Charl Langeveldt took three wickets in five balls. Langeveldt was the top bowler for South Africa, finishing with a career-best 5/39 in his 10 overs. 

South Africa's innings started steadily, with opener Graeme Smith (59) and Jacques Kallis (86) batting confidently. Thanks to half centuries by both these batsmen, South Africa were 206/5 in the 45th over, with Kallis still on the crease. They needed four more runs from 32 balls to win the match, with five wickets in hand. But Lasith Malinga's historical spell changed the course of the match. Malinga made history by taking four wickets in four balls, becoming the first bowler in the history of international cricket to achieve this feat. It was the only such instance in international cricket at the time. 

Bowling his final spell, Malinga achieved a hat-trick by first getting Shaun Pollock and Andrew Hall out with the last two deliveries of the 45th over. He then induced an outside edge from Kallis on the first ball of the next over to get to a hattrick, before breaking Makhaya Ntini's stumps with a 144.7 kph yorker to take four wickets in four balls. 
Malinga's spell reduced South Africa to 207 for 9, and they now needed three runs to win with one wicket in hand and 22 balls remaining. Unfortunately, Malinga's sensational performance came in a losing cause as South Africa eventually reached the target with 10 balls remaining after Robin Peterson and Charl Langeveldt survived the most tensed phase of the game.

Langeveldt contributed a single, while Peterson hit Malinga for a four in the penultimate over to take the winning runs. Langeveldt and Malinga shared the Player of the Match award for their excellent performances. South Africa eventually lost to champions Australia in the semi-final, while Sri Lanka lost the final. 

Hat-Tricks

In ODI World Cups

BowlerCountryOppositionVenueDate
Chetan SharmaIndiaNew ZealandNagpur31-Oct-87
Saqlain MushtaqPakistanZimbabweThe Oval11-Jun-99
Chaminda VaasSri LankaBangladeshPietermaritzburg14-Feb-03
Brett LeeAustraliaKenyaDurban15-Mar-03
Lasith MalingaSri LankaSouth AfricaProvidence28-Mar-07
Kemar RoachWest IndiesNetherlandsDelhi28-Feb-11
Lasith MalingaSri LankaKenyaColombo 01-Mar-11
Steven FinnEnglandAustraliaMelbourne14-Feb-15
Jean-Paul DuminySouth AfricaSri LankaSydney18-Mar-15
Mohammed ShamiIndiaAfghanistanSouthampton22-Jun-19
Trent BoultNew ZealandAustraliaLord's29-Jun-19
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"Why can't I get another hat-trick, I will be trying and that would be special"

Lasith Malinga on the eve of 2019 World Cup

Lasith Malinga – the only bowler to take two ODI World Cup hat-tricks

Malinga still remains the only bowler in ODIs to have taken four wickets in four balls. Interestingly, he achieved the same feat in a T20I match against New Zealand in 2019. 
In the 2011 World Cup, Malinga became the first bowler to take two World Cup hat-tricks, a record which still remains unbroken. Malinga picked six wickets including a hat-trick as Sri Lanka recorded a nine-wicket win over Kenya in their Group A match in Colombo.

Malinga was optimistic about getting his third World Cup hat-trick in 2019, but that wasn't to happen. "Why can't I get another hat-trick, I will be trying and that would be special," Malinga was quoted as saying by the ICC.

The Yorker king, who represented Sri Lanka in 30 Test matches, 226 ODIs and 84 T20Is, picking up 546 wickets, retired from all forms of cricket on 14 September 2021. Malinga ended his career as the leading wicket-taker in T20I cricket with 107 wickets. Besides taking two World Cup hat-tricks, he also took T20I hat-tricks. 

Sri Lanka and South Africa in 2023 World Cup

Sri Lanka, once a cricketing powerhouse, will enter the 2023 World Cup as one of the underdogs. They had to play the Qualifier to qualify for the 2023 World Cup, and while they recently made it to the final of the Asia Cup, they were bowled out for just 50 runs in the game. To make matters worse, they will be without two of their key players in the World Cup - Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera.

 South Africa, on the other hand, boast a batting line-up which can pile up big totals. In the bowling department, the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi are expected to light up the tournament. However, they will miss the service of Anrich Nortje, who won't be playing the tournament due to an injury. 

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Umaima Saeed

Umaima Saeed

Umaima Saeed is a professional sports writer whose articles have been featured in several leading websites. She writes long-form content on sports, particularly cricket. She has a penchant for telling human-interest stories. Umaima has contributed articles on cricket to more than a dozen publications, both in print and online.

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