Lasith Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan came in to the World Cup final with 27 wickets between them in the tournament. They were expected to lead Sri Lanka’s attack on Saturday, but Murali went wicketless and Malinga couldn’t build on his first spell of 2 for 11 in four overs.
Malinga got the early wickets of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, but failed to give Sri Lanka a breakthrough in the middle overs, as he so often does with the old ball. When he came on in the end, with India closing in on a win, he bowled one over for three runs, but his next went for 11, relieving the pressure on India’s batsmen. Malinga suggested the dew may have affected his bowling later on in the innings.
"I couldn’t bowl yorkers properly because the ball was too wet," Malinga said on his return to Colombo on Sunday. "It was difficult to swing the ball. I tried hard. I regret I couldn’t take more wickets." This was not the first time in the World Cup that a player had said he was hampered by dew. After England’s loss to Bangladesh in Chittagong, Graeme Swann had likened bowling with a wet ball to playing football with your hands tied behind your back.