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When Lasith Malinga stepped up to bowl the penultimate over of Thursday’s match between the Mumbai Indians and the Pune Warriors India; Pune were the firm favourites to win the game. When he finished it, his team, Mumbai, were the favourites. This is the game breaking nature of the Sri Lanka paceman. In a game that was dominated by good bowling, Malinga found a way to shine through. He bowled an exceptional opening spell and then stepped up at the death just when his team needed him to.

His final figures of 2-25 didn’t quite reflect his influence on the match. It was pleasing to see the man of the match award given to the player who most influenced the result of the game and not purely based upon which player had the best statistics.

Add to that fact that this really was a hugely important game for Mumbai. They now have 12 points and are third in the standings. That point total gives them a three-point edge over fifth place Chennai. Mumbai’s next game is on Sunday when they host the Super Kings and they have put themselves into a perfect position to make their semi-final berth a little bit more secure.

It’s also worth mentioning that when Malinga stepped up to bowl, he did so against a Pune franchise that was desperate for a win. The Warriors have played an extra game than most of their rivals and yet still languish in eighth place with just eight points. Eight points from 11 games still gives them a chance, but Sourav Ganguly’s team is now under a lot of pressure to win three, probably four of their final five games.

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malinga performance has been inspiring for mumbai team. but all round performance needs to be better


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