Murali - one wicket at a time

Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan reached 798 wickets on his farewell as India closed day four of the first Test 63 behind at 181-5 in their follow-on. BBC

Murali will relish attacking the tail when play resumes tomorrow with only Laxman and Dhoni left as recognised batsmen. With Murali playing in his final Test match Sangakkara will certainly ask the Sri Lankan legend to tie one end down as he looks to bag the final two wickets required to reach the magic 800 mark.

Virender Sehwag sealed his 20th Test century but Murali took his 67th five-wicket haul to dismiss India for 276.

Put in again, India lost Gautam Gambhir third ball and Sehwag for 31 but Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar put on 119.

Dravid (44) and Tendulkar (85) fell within two overs before Murali returned to oust Yuvraj Singh in the final over.

Muralitharan claimed 5-63 from 17 overs in India’s first innings and 1-57 when they followed on.

India’s second innings was rocked by the loss of openers before tea.

Gambhir departed in the first over for the second time in the match, caught behind off the rapid Lasith Malinga, while Sehwag was smartly taken in the gully having chased a wide one.

Record Test run-scorer Tendulkar mounted a recovery, however, in partnership with Dravid as they record their 18th century stand.

Tendulkar played with some freedom to chalk up his 55th Test fifty and skipped down the wicket to launch Muralitharan for a huge six over long-on.

Dravid’s patience might well have deserved a fifty, but the partnership came to an end when he was caught at leg gully attempting to flick Malinga.

And just 11 deliveries later, Malinga struck again, this time with the prized scalp of Tendulkar, trapped lbw by a wicked yorker just short of his 48th Test century.

Yuvraj became Muralitharan’s fifth victim of the day, caught at slip, leaving India with a veritable mountain to climb.