23 Jul 2010

Muralitharan reaches 800-wicket landmark

7:09 am on 23 July 2010

Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan has become the first bowler to take 800 test match wickets, attaining his goal with the last ball of his test career

Muralitharan's team-mates carried him shoulder-high from the field after he reached the landmark, in a match against India in the Sri Lankan city of Galle.

The 38-year-old began his final match against India on 792 wickets. He ousted record test run-scorer Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday and went on to take 5-63 as India had to follow on.

Team-mate Lasith Malinga took 5-50 but with the last pair together, Murali had last man Pragyan Ojha caught by Mahela Jayawardene at slip to reach his 800.

Muralitharan made his test debut in 1992. Although retiring from test cricket to make way for younger players, he is to Sri Lankans a hero, and irreplaceable, the BBC says.

His unique bent-arm bowling action, caused by a deformity from birth, has meant that he has courted controversy at times during his career, and some umpires and former players have questioned his action's legality.

The mechanics of his bowling action have been investigated and cleared on more than one occasion by the International Cricket Council.