Lasith Malinga becomes leading wicket-taker in T20Is
Lasith Malinga (AFP Photo)

When Lasith Malinga cleaned up Colin de Grandhomme on Sunday, he surpassed Shahid Afridi to become T20I cricket’s all-time leading wicket-taker.

Sri Lanka captain Malinga, who began the series opening first T20I against New Zealand two short of the record, dismissed opener Colin Munro (0) to first draw level with Pakistan allrounder Afridi at 98 and then left him behind at second when he got rid of Grandhomme later in the innings.

Malinga, 36, finished with figures of 2/23 from his four overs.

Malinga, who made his T20I debut in 2006, has played 74 matches till date and taken 99* wickets at an average of 19.38 with a best bowling figures of 5/31.

The retired Afridi, who is now second on the list, played 99 T20Is and took 98 wickets in them at an average of 24.44 with 4/11 his best figures in a match. Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan is at the third spot with 88 wickets in 72 matches.

Top-five leading wicket-takers in T20I history

S.no Player Team Matches Wickets
1 Lasith Malinga Sri Lanka 74 99
2 Shahid Afridi* Pakistan 99 98
3 Shakib Al Hasan Bangladesh 72 88
4 Umar Gul Pakistan 60 85
4 Saeed Ajmal* Pakistan 64 85
5 Rashid Khan Afghanistan 38 75

*at the time of writing

Malinga recently retired from ODIs finishing with 338 wickets in 226 matches, finishing as the 10th highest wicket-taker in the format’s history. He’s third on the list of the most wickets by an Sri Lankan bowler in ODIs after Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399). He’s the only player to have three hat-tricks in ODIs.