Malinga ready to combat Hales

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Captain Lasith Malinga has insisted Sri Lanka's gameplan will revolve around more than just dismissing batsman Alex Hales cheaply, come Tuesday's one-off Twenty20 International at The Oval in London.

Captain Lasith Malinga has insisted Sri Lanka's gameplan will revolve around more than just dismissing batsman Alex Hales cheaply, come Tuesday's one-off Twenty20 International at The Oval in London.

Hales struck a record-breaking 116 not out off a mere 64 deliveries in a big victory over the Sri Lankans during the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh earlier this year.

While the result ultimately did not prevent Malinga and company from clinching the title, after a comfortable triumph over India in the final, it did promise another fierce competition this week.

"We're not focusing on one particular opposition player. If we give him a good one, we might be able to get him out early – but more important, we want to just cut down the boundaries throughout the 20 overs," said Malinga.

"We had a tough match against England in that World T20. But the past is past. These conditions favour the home team. But we'll look to put them under pressure. In Twenty20, one over can change the match. But whoever makes the fewest mistakes in the 40 overs will win, I think."

The tourists' momentum ahead of the sole T20I – and a five-match ODI series against the same opposition – was helped by straightforward victories over Sussex and Kent earlier this month. Defeat to Essex, however, hampered preparation.

"We are a really happy unit, because we won the WT20. We are a young side, looking forward to assessing these conditions as soon as possible. We are confident we can handle all the pressure in Twenty20," concluded Malinga.

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