New Delhi, Sep 1: Veteran Sri Lanka cricketer Lasith Malinga surpassed former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi to become the highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket. Malinga achieved this feat in the first T20I of the three-match series against New Zealand at Pallekele International Stadium on Sunday (September 1).
He now has 99 T20I wickets under his belt. Malinga also happens to be the leading wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League with 170 scalps in 122 games.
The 36-year-old needed just two wickets to get past Afridi's tally of wickets 98 wickets in T20I cricket before the match. Malinga picked up wickets of Colin Munro and Colin de Grandhomme to achieve this milestone.
The Sri Lanka captain opened the bowling for his team and sent Munro back to the pavilion for a golden duck by cleaning him up with a perfect inswinging yorker and equalled Afridi's record.
He brought himself back into the attack when the Kiwis were making their way back into the game and sent de Grandhomme (44 off 28 deliveries) in the dugout with another yorker.
Former Pakistani all-rounder Afridi has 98 wickets to his name from 99 innings. He is followed by Shakib Al Hasan (88 wickets), Umar Gul (85 wickets), Saeed Ajmal (85 wickets), Rashid Khan (75 wickets).
Sri Lanka, however, lost the match by five wickets and went 0-1 down in the series. Ross Taylor (48 off 29 deliveries) and Daryl Mitchell (25* off 19). Mitchell Santner (14* off 8) was present at the crease as the Kiwis successfully chased down the target of 175.