Murali eyes 50 five-wicket hauls
COLOMBO (AFP) - Ace Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said Tuesday
he was aiming for 50 five-wicket hauls in Test cricket after equalling
Richard Hadlee's world record of 36 here.
"I know it's difficult to get 36, but I'm looking for 50," said Muralitharan
after his 36th haul of five or more wickets in an innings in the opening
Test against Bangladesh at the Saravanamuttu Stadium.
The Sri Lankan needed 10 Tests fewer than the legendary New Zealand fast
bowler to reach the milestone.
Hadlee took 86 Tests and Muralitharan 76.
The 30-year-old spinner grabbed five wickets in each innings as Sri Lanka
thrashed Bangladesh by a record innings and 196 runs to gain a 1-0 lead in
the two-match series.
The star spinner said he did not believe that the target of 50 was beyond
"If I keep playing for four or five years I think I can do that," said
Muralitharan, the fifth-highest wicket-taker in the world with 430.
Only West Indian Courtney Walsh (519), Australian Shane Warne (450), Indian
Kapil Dev (434) and Hadlee (431) are now ahead of the Sri Lankan.
Sri Lankan skipper Sanath Jayasuriya lauded Muralitharan's 10-wicket effort
in the match, but said it was time other bowlers also started chipping in.
"We've always relied on one person (Muralitharan) to win matches, but others
should also deliver," Jayasuriya said, adding that fast bowlers' performance
had left a lot to be desired.
"The fast bowling should improve," said Jayasuriya. "We faced the same
problems in England. The fast bowlers have not been able to bowl a good line
and length consistently."