ICL: Indian Cricket League

Muralitharan achieves 600 Test Wickets

Written by Kashif Aziz on March 11th, 2006   (563 views)

Sri Lankan off-spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan joined Shane Warne as the only cricketer to nail 600 Test wickets, ensuring their fierce rivalry moves into another sphere.

He achieved the milestone with his famous ‘doosra’ delivery in the second Test against Bangladesh here, forcing former captain Khaled Mashud (12) to hole out to Lasith Malinga at deep square-leg.

The landmark wicket sparked celebrations from the Sri Lankan players who mobbed their star bowler, completing the feat 13 years after his Test debut in Colombo against Australia. It also made him the first bowler to pick up 50 wickets against every Test playing nation, cementing his status as the greatest player in Sri Lankan history.

He had conquered another peak in the previous game at Chittagong, his 100th Test, when he became the first bowler to take 1,000 international wickets.

But he still has a way to go to catch Warne, who has taken 659 Test wickets and vowed last month there would be no easing up in his schedule despite turning 37 this year.

Reaching the feat hasn’t been plain sailing for Murali, who has been accused of chucking.

Suspicions about his action were whispered soon after his debut in 1993 and he has been taunted by Australian crowds since he was first no-balled during Sri Lanka’s Boxing Day Test against Australia in 1995.

Since then he has been checked and cleared four times by experts at UWA, who carry out testing on behalf of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The latest tests in February showed that even bowling at faster speeds, both Muralitharan’s controversial ‘doosra’ and his off-break deliveries complied with the rules. His average elbow extension while bowling the ‘doosra’ at an average of 86.5 kph was 12.2 degrees, well within the 15 degrees allowed by the ICC under current rules. The average for his off-break was 12.9 degrees at 95 kph.

But the taunts have continued, and his feelings became evident in Perth last month when he was photographed making a one-finger gesture to a spectator who had ‘no ball’ written across his chest.

Muralitharan has taken more wickets (89) against Test minnows Zimbabwe than any other nation, and his 600th Test wicket was his 50th against Bangladesh.

The Sri Lankan ace also has to catch up with Warne for the number of deliveries in Test cricket. The Australian has bowled more than 37,000 balls, some 4,000 more than Muralitharan.

Source: The News

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Technorati Tags: Muralitharan, Shane Warne, doosra, Colombo, Australia, Chittagong, Zimbabwe

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