Boucher breaks Healy's record October 3, 2007

'If you play enough, there will be records to break'

Mark Boucher took two catches and effected two stumpings in Pakistan's first innings, to go past Ian Healy's record of most Test dismissals © AFP

Mark Boucher missed a chance to equal Ian Healy's world record of most Test dismissals as he let an Abdur Rehman edge fly past him in the second over of the morning. However, as the day progressed, and as Shoaib Malik carried Pakistan towards temporary safety, a Paul Harris turner evaded a slash of Malik's bat and provided Boucher with another opportunity. This time, he took it with both hands.

Six overs later, as the Pakistan dressing room celebrated passing the follow-on mark, Umar Gul danced down the pitch and heaved mightily towards the leg. Missing the ball - although Boucher later claimed the batsman had edged it - Gul was stranded in the middle as Boucher removed the bails while removing Healy's name from the record list; Boucher now had 396 dismissals in 103 Tests, only 18 of those stumped.

Playing down the significance of his achievement, Boucher said: "I have played a lot of Tests in my career so it [the record] was coming in a way. I've never been a person for stats, but if you play enough matches there will be plenty of records to break."

Clearly satisfied with his performance, Boucher was all praise for the person whose record he had broken.

"It is a great feeling for me especially to be breaking someone like Healy's record. I used to watch him on TV as a kid and I'm a little sad in a way to be going past Healy," he said.

Gerald Majola, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa, congratulated Boucher on breaking the record and said there was no doubt his final tally would be difficult to overtake. "Mark has been a stalwart of the Proteas team for over a decade now, and his world record is a worthy reward for his outstanding achievements as both a wicketkeeper and lower order batsman."

Boucher will have a chance to add to his tally as South Africa will hope to add quick runs in the morning and declare some time in the second session. With the ball turning sharply, and Pakistan batsmen willing to chase wide deliveries, he may even become the first wicketkeeper to break the 400-barrier.

Faras Ghani is an editorial assistant on Cricinfo