Murali reaches 700 milestone

Kandy, July 14:

Muttiah Muralitharan became just the second bowler in history to take 700 Test wickets as he claimed six victims on Saturday to lead Sri Lanka to a third successive victory over Bangladesh by an innings and 193 runs.

Muralitharan joined retired Australian legspinner Shane Warne in the exclusive 700 club with the last ball of the match when Syed Rasel tried to hit him down the ground but instead spooned it to Farveez Maharoof. Man-of-the-match Murali was mobbed by teammates after the final wicket, fittingly coming on his home ground. It is likely Murali will break Warne’s record of 708 wickets when Sri Lanka tour Australia in November.

The result made Sri Lanka just the third side in history to win every Test in a three-Test series by more than an innings, joining England against the West Indies in 1928 and India against Sri Lanka in 1994. Sri Lanka won the first Test by an innings and 234 runs and followed that up by wining the second Test by an innings and 90 runs.

Murali finished with 12 wickets for the Test, and 26 for the series, winning player of the series award.

Sri Lanka declared their first innings at the overnight score of 500-4 — a lead of 369 — with Kumar Sangakkara not out on 222. Bangladesh performed well in the opening session, to be 106-2 at lunch, but collapsed to lose the last eight wickets for just 53 runs to be all out for 176. Bangladesh were all out 131 in their first innings.