MUMBAI, March 18, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara hailed veteran spinner Muttiah Muralitharan as a legend for his four-wicket contribution in Friday’s World Cup win over New Zealand. Muralitharan, playing in his final World Cup before retirement, took 4-25 as the Black Caps were dismissed for 153 to lose by 112 runs.
But he had battled through the pain of a pulled hamstring which he suffered as he dived into his crease, trying to avoid being run out when his team batted.
“Murali is a legend to bowl virtually on one leg and still get wickets,” said Sangakkara, who was man of the match for his 111 runs.
The skipper said he was confident that Muralitharan would be fit for their quarter-final which Sri Lanka will hope to be in Colombo on March 26.
“We have a few days and will have a few tricks up our sleeve. Hopefully he will get fully fit in that time period,” said the captain.
“We have fixed other guys up quickly in that kind of time. Murali needs to play. This is his last World Cup and he wins a lot of matches for us.
“He needs to have the freedom to do as he pleases. He needs to bowl and get wickets.”
Muralitharan said he was confident that the inj