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Murali does it in style: 792 to 800

Murali does it in style: 792 to 800

Pragyan Ojha last man out as Muralitharan gets 800 test scalps.

New Delhi: The 2010 Galle Test between India and Sri Lanka will go down in history books as Muttiah Muralitharan’s swansong.

The talking point was of course whether the Lankan wizard would reach a career milestone of 800 test wickets.

When the entire second day’s play was washed out there were serious doubts about a fairytale ending for arguably the greatest cricketer to ever come out of the emerald isle .

But ‘when the going gets tough the tough gets going’, and Murali was never going to disappoint a full house in his farewell test.

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Here is the journey of his last eight wickets:

793: A patnership seemed to be building between Sehwag and Tendulkar in the first innings after Rahul Dravid was needlessly run out for 18. With the score on 101/2, Sachin went for a sweep of Muralis’ bowling, the ball hit his pads and umpire Harper sent the little master on his way.

794: After Laxman’s departure in the first innings, Dhoni and Yuvraj tried the consolidation act and put up 74 runs for the 6th wicket before Murali bowled the Indian skipper with an absolute beauty. The ball pitched outside off stump, turned in viciously and MSD was beaten hands down.

795: With the addition of seven runs to the total, Murali who has always been Yuvraj’s nemesis got his man when Yuvi edged one to Mahela Jayawardene at first slip.

796 and 797: Pragyan Ojha and Abhimanyu Mithun had no answers to Muralitharan’s guile and they were sitting ducks for the Sri Lankan great as India were bowled out for 276 runs in the first innings and the follow on was enforced by Sangakkara.

798: Following on Muralitharan again pocketed the wicket of Yuvraj Singh although there was some doubt about the ball carrying to first slip.

799: Day 5 and all eyes were on Murali, it was a question of when the magical figure of 800 would be attained by one of the greatest of all time. Harbhajan fell lbw to his opposite number and just one more victim was required for ultimate ecstasy.

800: After a stubborn tenth wicket stand between Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha, Muttiah Muralitharan finally did it when Mahela took a sharp catch at slip to dismiss Ojha.

first published:July 22, 2010, 13:55 IST