Sri Lanka’s Malinga fit for semi-final: Mahela

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, April 19, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jaywardene is confident of having fast bowler Lasith Malinga fit for Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final in Jamaica.

Malinga, who has taken 15 wickets at under 15 apiece at the tournament, has missed Sri Lanka’s last three matches after damaging left ankle ligaments.

His latest absence didn’t prove costly, Sri Lanka dismissing Ireland for 77 in their final Super Eights match at Grenada’s National Stadium here Wednesday with paceman Farveez Maharoof (four for 25) and Muttiah Muralitharan (four for 19) doing the damage.

But while Sri Lanka quick Dilhara Fernando was nursing an ankle problem that saw him miss the Ireland match, Jayawardene was confident that Malinga, whose slingy action makes him difficult to face, would return for a last four clash where the 1996 champions are likely to face New Zealand.

“He’s probably 90 percent okay,” Jayawardene said of Malinga. “We probably should have played him today (Wednesday) but we didn’t want to take the risk.

“We have almost a week before the next game. He’s bowled 10 overs in the nets this (Wednesday) morning. We just need to make sure he gradually co