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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Murali equals record
First Test, Harare, day one (stumps): Zimbabwe 199 v Sri Lanka 67-0

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muralitharan has proved himself to be a cricket phenomenon
Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan equalled Courtney Walsh's record of 519 Test wickets by taking 6-45 in the first Test against Zimbabwe in Harare.

He bowled Doug Hondo to match Walsh's total as Zimbabwe were all out for 199.

Also among his victims was 19-year-old debutant Prosper Utseya, who top scored for the home side with 45.

Sri Lanka were 67-0 in reply at stumps on day one, with new captain Mravan Atapattu 21 not out and Sanath Jayasuriya unbeaten on 43.

Muralitharan achieved the feat in his 89th Test, compared to 132 by Walsh.

Having bowled only two overs before lunch, he cut through the middle order following the resumption, the 44th time in Tests that he had taken five wickets in an innings.

MOST TEST WICKETS
519 M Muralitharan, SL (89 Tests)
519 C Walsh, WI (132)
517 S Warne, Aus (110)
434 Kapil Dev, India (131)
431 R Hadlee, NZ (86)
430 G McGrath, Australia (95)

He surpassed Shane Warne's current career total of 517 in the process, but had to wait for his final, record-equalling victim as Tinashe Panyangara joined Hondo in a last-wicket stand of 50.

Panyangara, another of the five new caps in the Zimbabwe side, even had the temerity to slog Muralitharan for six over mid-wicket.

He was left unbeaten on 32 when Hondo was finally defeated for 19 when he missed an attempted drive.

Sri Lanka started the game as firm favourites after winning the one-day series 5-0.

The home side again had to field a largely second-string side because of the boycott by a group of 'rebel' white players in dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

And Atapattu opted to put Zimbabwe in after winning the toss - both he and opposuite number Tatenda Taibu were leading their teams in a Test for the first time.

I think Shane Warne will pass me when Australia come here to Zimbabwe
Muttiah Muralitharan

Brendan Taylor, the sole white player in the team, was first to go when he gave a return catch to seam bowler Farveez Maharoof after making 19.

Dion Ebrahim followed when he was lbw to Nuwan Zoysa, who struck again in his next over when Stuart Matsikenyeri was brilliantly caught at second slip for 10 by Mahela Jayawardene.

Elton Chigumbura hit three boundaries but a hook shot proved his downfall as Muralitharan took a diving catch running in from backward square leg to dismiss him for 14 off the final ball before lunch.

The slide continued during the afternoon as Muralitharan won lbw decisions against Alester Maregwede and Mluleki Nkala.

His dismissal of Taibu for 40 ended a stand of 33 with Utseya, whose enterprising 57-ball innings was ended when Muralitharan found a way through his defence.

While the star spinner waited to take sole control of the record, Sri Lanka's openers appeared untroubled in 16 overs before the end of the day.

In contrasting innings, Atapattu was content to let his partner take control as Jayasurya struck six boundaries from 44 balls.


Zimbabwe: T Taibu (captain), D Ebrahim, B Taylor, M Nkala, B Mahwire, D Hondo, P Utseya, T Panyangara, A Maregwede, S Matsikenyeri, E Chigumbura.

Sri Lanka: MS Atapattu (capt), ST Jayasuriya, KC Sangakkara, DPMD Jayawardene, TM Dilshan, TT Samaraweera, HAPW Jayawardene (wkt), WPUJC Vaas, DNT Zoysa, M Muralitharan, M F Maharoof.




SEE ALSO
Sri Lanka held to draw
03 May 04  |  Cricket


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