Muralitharan eyes world record in series-decider
Muttiah Muralitharan needs five more wickets to become the highest
wicket-taker in one-day cricket history as Sri Lanka take on Pakistan in
the third and deciding one-day match here Saturday.
The wily off-spinner needs two more wickets to become only the second
bowler to cross the 500-mark in limited overs internationals.
Another three would help him overtake Pakistan’s Wasim Akram’s
one-day tally of 502.
The 36-year-old Muralitharan is already the world’s top wicket-taker
in Test cricket with 769 in 125 Tests.
Muralitharan took 3-19 to help Sri Lanka thump Pakistan by 129 runs
in the second day-night international in Karachi on Wednesday, levelling
the series at 1-1 to set up an intriguing final match.
Pakistan won the first match, in Karachi, by eight wickets on
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said however winning the match
— and with it the series — was the priority.
“Definitely it would be great to see Murali achieve that record.
Winning the match and the series would be the top priority, and on the
way if Murali achieves that record we would definitely celebrate,” said
Muralitharan, who made his one-day debut against India in 1993, has
10 times taken five wickets in a match in a 323-match career.
Jayawardene was happy his team learnt from the mistakes of the first
“We didn’t repeat our mistakes of the first match and the guys showed
a lot of character, so it’s necessary we continue that.
“Lahore will be a new ground and we will assess the situation and
hope to execute our plans.”
Jayawardene would also look to his other spinner Ajantha Mendis, who
took three wickets in the second match after going wicket-less in the
Pakistan are likely to drop struggling pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and
Sohail Tanvir — Akhtar has managed just one wicket for 88 runs and
Tanvir’s only wicket in the series cost 85.
Rookie paceman Sohail Khan and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal are tipped to
take their places.
Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, hinting at changes to his team, said
his side needs to show more character.
“We let the lead slip in the second match, so it’s now a must-win
situation in the final game. I hope the players realise that and do not
repeat the mistakes of the second match,” said Malik.
“The second match should be behind us and we must move on and win the
last match,” said Malik.
LAHORE, Pakistan, Friday, AFP