Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lefties more vulnerable to Malinga

Wow... Wow... Wow... Commentator Michael Holding's ball by ball exclamation after each Lasith Malinga delivery summed up his mesmerising opening spell in the semi-final against the Kiwis. Now I'm waiting for the final 'wow' when Malinga traps Hayden and Gilchrist LBW if the Aussies get through to the finals, or Graeme Smith if it is the Proteas instead.
He made the ball curve in to Fleming's pads from outside off-stump, which is very difficult to do right arm over the wicket, and extremely difficult to face at 145 kmph for a left-hander. Malinga is able to do that because the ball is over middle-stump at the point of delivery, creating a different angle from what batsmen are used to from conventional right-arm over-the-wicket bowlers.
For a right hander, Malinga poses a different problem. Ross Taylor, who came in after the fall of Fleming's wicket, also looked all at sea, but had to get a nick to get out. He just kept playing and missing outside offstump instead. As for the Malinga ball pitching on the stumps and straightening, that's easier for a right-handed batsman to get behind, whereas the left-hander tends to play across the line to be trapped LBW. So the key to the finals may well lie in what Malinga does to the left-handers who dominate the top of the Aussie line-up.

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