Friday, July 23, 2010

Muralitharan claims 800th Test wicket

Muttiah Muralitharan claims 800th Test wicket

Sri Lanka's spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan created history on Wednesday by claiming a record 800 Test wickets in his last match against India in Galle on Thursday. With this, Murali has become the first bowler to reach the milestone.

Murali lead Sri Lanka to a dominant 10-wicket win over India in the first Test. India were bundled out for 338 in their second innings on Day 5.

The 38-year-old cricketer is the leading wicket-taker in tests and one-day internationals. He dismissed Pragyan Ojha to reach the milestone.

Muralitharan was eight wickets short of the landmark figure of 800 coming into his swan song Test. He finished with match figures of eight for 191. He took five for 63 in the first innings and three for 128 in the second.

Galle has been Muralitharan's favorite hunting ground, where he has taken 103 wickets in 14 matches with an average of 18.

Muralitharan's 800 Test wickets came in 133 matches at an average of 22.74.

Often referred to as Murali, he was rated the greatest Test match bowler ever by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 2002.

Muralitharan is the highest wicket-taker in both Test cricket and in One Day Internationals (ODIs). He took the wicket of Gautam Gambhir on 5 February 2009 in Colombo, to surpass Wasim Akram's ODI record of 502 wickets. Muralitharan became the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when he overtook the previous record-holder Shane Warne on 3 December 2007 in the longer version of the game.

Muralitharan had previously held the record when he surpassed Courtney Walsh's 519 wickets in 2004. But he suffered a shoulder injury later that year and was then overtaken by Warne.

Averaging over six wickets per Test, Muralitharan is one of the most successful bowlers in the game. He plays domestic cricket for the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club, and plays in the Indian Premier League for Chennai Super Kings.

Muralitharan's career has been beset with controversy. His bowling action called into question on a number of occasions by umpires and sections of the cricket community. After biomechanical analysis in non-match conditions, Muralitharan's action was cleared by the International Cricket Council, first in 1996 and again in 1999.


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