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March 10, 2006
Muttiah Muralitharan reached yet another milestone in a record-filled career, becoming only the second bowler in Test history to claim 600 wickets, on the third day of the second Test at Bogra. Only Shane Warne, currently with 659 victims, is ahead of him and it may not be too long before the duo resume their battle for top honours.
Murali, who was on 598 when the innings began, got one step away with the wicket of Shahriar Nafees, who attempted a reckless slog sweep and holed out to mid-on. He reached the landmark in the 32nd over of the Bangladesh second innings, thanks to a doosra, when he got Khaled Mashud to top edge a sweep to long leg. Lasith Malinga, patrolling the boundary, completed a good running catch, leaving Murali in an ecstatic mood as he was mobbed by his team-mates.
Murali had conquered another peak in the previous game at Chittagong, his 100th Test, when he became the first bowler to take 1,000 international wickets. Strangely, it was Mashud was his victim on that occasion as well. His five-wicket haul in the first innings had got him closer, when he snapped up his 50th five-wicket haul, and he finally reached the magical mark at 1:10pm today.
Bogra, the nerve-centre of northern Bangladesh, may be renowned for some historical sights, and this was the venue's first Test, but cricket lovers will long remember it as the site where a smiling genius nailed his 600th scalp.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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