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Warne breaks Muralitharan's Test wickets record

October 16, 2004

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CHENNAI, Oct 15: Shane Warne was delighted to claim the world record for most Test wickets in the second Test against India on Friday.

"At the moment it's a bit of a blur," said Warne, who surpassed Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan's mark of 532 wickets by dismissing Irfan Pathan.

"It's been a long time. I never thought I'd be in this situation when I first started." "Obviously it felt pretty special. It was a special moment, especially here in India.

"The crowd here understood what was going on and they were very appreciative. "To have them clapping and chanting my name was pretty special." The 35-year-old bowler ended the second day of the Test with three for 93 to take his total haul to 534 victims.

"It has gone so fast. I'm up to 114 tests and I have missed probably 30 through injuries and things but I feel very proud to get the record and I never thought I would," he said.

"I suppose I'll take five minutes with my wife tonight and just reflect and say that was pretty good." Warne's efforts helped Australia to reduce India to 291 for six at the close, allowing the hosts a 56-run lead.

With Australia leading the four-match series 1-0, Warne said his main focus was on helping his team win the Test. "Today was probably the best I have ever bowled in India, as good as I can bowl and I created a lot of chances.

"A few unfortunately didn't go to hand. I thought I worried all the batsmen. "If I continue to bowl that, hopefully I can play a part in winning the series. "If we lose this Test match then this world record will be something of a downer."

Warne said he enjoyed his duel with Muralitharan, who is sidelined following shoulder surgery. "He has given me a little bit of chance to bathe in it for a little while," he said.

"Murali, obviously when he comes back he is going to aim at taking about 1000 wickets. "I'll enjoy while it lasts, a week, two weeks, a month, whatever... I suppose this is something nobody can ever take away from me."

RANATUNGA

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga on Friday congratulated his old foe Shane Warne on becoming the world's highest Test wicket-taker, but predicted his glory will be short-lived.

Ranatunga, 40, who in 1996 led Sri Lanka to World Cup victory, said former team mate Muttiah Muralitharan would win back the record after he recovers from injury. Muralitharan, 32, known as Murali, is at home recovering from shoulder surgery in Australia.

"It is good for Murali to have stiff competition from Shane Warne," Ranatunga told AFP. "But he will be able to get back the title very soon and then concentrate on achieving his next target."

Muralitharan has said he wants to reach at least 600 to 650 Test wickets before retiring after the next World Cup. Ranatunga noted Murali's performance was better than Warne's because he had taken 532 Test wickets in 23 fewer matches.

The 35-year-old is poised to gain a handsome lead over Muralitharan as Australia has seven more Tests scheduled this year, including five at home against New Zealand and Pakistan.

Sri Lanka play only four away Tests this year and Muralitharan's return to the squad relies on the injury healing. "If I only hold the record for a week, at least I've got the opportunity to say I was the world record holder," Warne said.

He returned to international cricket in March after serving a 12-month ban for taking drugs. No love is lost between Sri Lanka's Ranatunga and Warne, who he has branded a cheat. The Australian has said cricket was better off without Ranatunga.

Last month, Ranatunga slammed the ICC for keeping Muralitharan out of the inaugural awards while recognising Warne who at the time was trailing the Sri Lankan spinner. -Agencies

LEADING WICKET-TAKERS

CHENNAI, Oct 15: Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne on Friday became the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when he surpassed Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan's world record of 532.

The 35-year-old Australian achieved the feat on the second day of the second Test here when he had Indian night watch man Irfan Pathan caught by Matthew Hayden in the slips for his 533rd victim.

Following are the top 10 wicket-takers in Test cricket after Warne's feat (matches, wickets, best performance, five wickets in an innings, 10 wickets in a match):

M W Best 5 10

S. Warne (Aus) 114 533 8-71 27 8

Muralitharan (SL) 91 532 9-51 44 13

C. Walsh (WI) 132 519 7-37 22 3

G. McGrath (Aus) 99 446 8-38 24 3

Kapil Dev (Ind) 131 434 9-83 23 2

R. Hadlee (NZ) 86 431 9-52 36 9

W. Akram (Pak) 104 414 7-119 25 5

A. Kumble (Ind) 86 409 10-74 25 5

C. Ambrose (WI) 98 405 8-45 22 3

I. Botham (Eng) 102 383 8-34 27 4. -AFP