534 and counting October 15, 2004

Warne breaks the world record

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Shane Warne: broke Muttiah Muralitharan's record of 532 Test wickets and stands alone at the top of the pile © Getty Images

Shane Warne has claimed the world record for the most Test wickets as he overtook Muttiah Muralitharan's tally of 532 earlier today. Warne's crowning moment came when he had Irfan Pathan caught at slip by Matthew Hayden with a peach of a delivery that drifted away from the left-hander and turned in.

It was by no means a walk in the park for Warne - he toiled hard to pick up 3 for 95 in addition to his rather meager returns of 4 for 193 in the first Test. But the moment was a special one, and the knowledgable Chennai crowd gave Warne a rousing response. David Shepherd, the umpire standing at the end where the wicket fell, was quick to congratulate Warne, as was Rahul Dravid, the batsman who replaced Pathan.

But it did not always seem like Warne would make this record his. Muralitharan has been on a hot streak in recent times, and only an injury to his shoulder gave Warne the breathing space to catch up. Murali has taken only 91 Tests to get to 532 wickets, each of his wickets costs 22.86 runs (Warne 25.64).

Murali first claimed the record when he beat Courtney Walsh's tally of 519 wickets, against Zimbabwe in Harare. He then raced on to 527 wickets, with a 6-wicket haul in Bulawayo. Warne then matched the feat, picking up seven wickets against Sri Lanka in Darwin. Murali has not played a Test since August and Warne has two Tests after this one in which to stretch the lead.