Magical Murali has done it! The accomplished spinner finally reached his target 800 wickets with the final wicket of the first Test match against India in Galle.
Murali’s 800th victim was tail-ender Pragyan Ojha who was caught by Mahela Jayawardene at slip. Celebrations ensued and a magnificent and controversial Test career came to a dramatic close.
When the first Test began five days ago, the off-spinner required eight wickets over two innings to further cement his place in cricketing folklore. Precariously poised on 792 wickets, a good showing in the first innings was a necessity.
Sachin Tendulkar had no answer to his guile on Tuesday and was one of five victims and he went on take 5-63 as India had to follow on.
Murali, now 38, began his career in 1992 and little did we know then that the mystical spinner would have surpassed Shane Warne’s 708 wickets but he would go on to reach 800 in 133 Tests.
With his five wicket haul in the first, it left him with just three wickets to re write history.
He removed Yuvraj Singh with the last ball of the fourth day, and trapped fellow off-spinner Harbhajan Singh lbw early on day five. Wicket after wicket fell and Murali could see his chance evaporating. Malinga was on fire and he ended the innings with a wonderful five wicket haul.
With a supreme effort from Malinga at the other end time wasn’t a problem, the lack of wickets however were! With his 157th Test catch, Jayawardene moved to his left and claimed Ojha’s wicket. Murali and his team mates celebrated, it heralded the end of an 18 year Test career.
Test Matches: 800 wickets in 133 matches.
One Day Internationals: 515 wickets in 337 matches.
Twenty20 internationals: 13 wickets.
- 800* Muttiah Muralitharan (SL)
- 708 Shane Warne (Aus)
- 619 Anil Kumble (Ind)
- 563 Glenn McGrath (Aus)
- 519 Courtney Walsh (WI)
- 434 Kapil Dev (India)
- 431 Sir Richard Hadlee (NZ)
- 421 Shaun Pollock (SA)
- 414 Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
- 405 Curtly Ambrose (WI)