Murali gets 800

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GALLE, July 22 – Retiring world bowling record holder Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka reached the 800-wicket mark with his last delivery in Test cricket on Thursday.The off-spinner, 38, had last man Pragyan Ojha caught at slip by Mahela Jayawardene to terminate India’s second innings after lunch on the final day of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium.

Muralitharan, who has more Test and one-day (515) wickets than any bowler in history, will retire from Test cricket after the match.

Muralitharan’s controversial bent-arm action — the result of an elbow deformity since birth — helped him impart considerable turn and bounce to wreak havoc with the ball.

The 133-Test veteran claimed five wickets in an innings an astonishing 67 times, almost double the hauls of second-placed Australian Shane Warne, who achieved this on 37 occasions.

Muralitharan took 10 wickets or more in a Test 22 times. Warne, who follows the Sri Lankan in the all-time list with 708 wickets, managed that only 10 times.

The Sri Lankan’s record haul of 800 Test wickets is unlikely to be broken in the near future. Among bowlers still playing Test cricket, India’s Harbhajan Singh leads the pack with 355 wickets and New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has 325 wickets.

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