Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan signed off his Test career in the best possible way by claiming his 800th Test wicket with his final-ever delivery.
Starring in his side’s ten wicket demolition of India at Galle, Murali enjoyed match figures of 8-191, with his 800th victim, Pragyan Ojha, caught by Mahela Jayawardene at slip.
Sri Lanka then went on to score the 95 runs needed for victory without losing a wicket, but the win was overshadowed by the 38-year-old’s historic performance in his 133rd and final Test match.
No other cricketer has broken the 800 mark before and all of the other nine top-ten Test wicket-takers of all time are retired, so his record seems safe for the foreseeable future.
Jayawardene, his former captain, talked before the Test about how he imagined he might hold the catch that took Murali to 800. “The nerves will build up for all the fielders when he is on 799, that’s for sure,” he said.
“It is a catch you will want to hold for Murali and the whole of Sri Lanka. It has been a privilege to play with him. He is a great enthusiast – a captain’s dream and a coach’s nightmare.”
Top-ten Test wicket-takers
Muttiah Muralitharan 800 (134 Tests); Shane Warne 708 (145); Anil Kumble 619 (132); Glenn McGrath 619 (124); Courtney Walsh 519 (132); Kapil Dev 434 (131); Sir Richard Hadlee 431 (86); Shaun Pollock 421 (108); Wasim Akram 414 (104); Curtly Ambrose 405 (98)