Muttiah Muralitharan became the first bowler to take 800 test wickets, reaching the milestone with the last ball of his career in the longest form of cricket and helping Sri Lanka into a winning position against India.
The 38-year-old offspinner had Pragyan Ojha caught at slip by Mahela Jayawardene at Galle International Stadium on 22.10.2010, slowly building pressure on the Indian tailender with four fielders around the bat.
Muralitharan needed eight wickets in his final test to reach the 800 mark. After a five—wicket haul in the first innings, and one in the second innings on 21.07.2010, he claimed Harbhajan Singh early on 22.10.2010 before a long wait for his last.
A controversial figure since his unorthodox bowling action was called into question in 1995, Muralitharan has endured to become the most prolific bowler in the sport, by a long way.
Only one other man has taken more than 619 test wickets — retired Australian legspinner Shane Warne once held the world record for most test wickets at 709.
Before the match, Muralitharan admitted to having some nerves but nothing more than he’d weathered in the past. “There is a little extra pressure on me, it being my last game, but playing under pressure is not new for me and I am just keen to go out there and enjoy myself,” he said in a pre—match interview. “It would be nice to take 800 wickets.”
Muralitharan was hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates and carried from the field after dismissing Ojha as the Sri Lankans celebrated for him. He held up the match ball to the crowd to acknowledge the cheers.
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