January 5, 2002 – When Muralitharan was denied a ten-wicket haul by Russel Arnold and Kumar Sangakkara

January 5, 2002 – When Muralitharan was denied a ten-wicket haul by Russel Arnold and Kumar Sangakkara

Muralitharan resumed on the 2nd day after taking painkillers as he suffered an injury to his finger on the day 1.

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka. (Photo by Tom Shaw / Getty Images)

Not every day a player gets a chance to take all ten wickets in an innings and some support from his team in making sure of the happening. Sri Lanka’s off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was on verge of achieving this feat at end of first day’s play in the Kandy Test against Zimbabwe and in fact, a chance of setting the record for best bowling figures in a Test inning. Muralitharan, who resumed on the 2nd day with painkillers after suffering an injury, only to be denied the record due to judgmental errors by his teammates.

After electing to bat first, Zimbabwe made a quick start by scoring 39 in eight overs before Murali struck on the 2nd ball he bowled. The off-spinner kept taking wickets at regular intervals to unsettle the visiting side’s batting order as they were reduced 166/8. Grant Flower, who scored 72, was the only Zimbabwe batsman to show some resistance as he added some crucial runs with the 9th wicket when the Sri Lankans fancied their chances of Murali’s record.

The Drama on Day 1:

Sri Lanka tried their best for Murali’s ten out of ten as Marvan Atapattu even dropped a simple catch of Grant Flower in Sanath Jayasuriya’s bowling. The batting side tried to capitalize on the friendly bowling from the other end before Murali got his 9th wicket. In what turned out to be the last over of the day due to bad light, Muralitharan tried to take a catch at the square leg but ended up dislocating a finger on his right hand. However, he resumed on the 2nd day in search of record but only after taking a pain-killer injection.

Muttiah Muralitharan & Sri Lankan team
Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka celebrates the wicket. (File Photo) (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

The unwanted wicket:

On the very first ball of the 2nd day, Murali produced a chance when Travis Friend gave a bat-pad catch which was grassed by Russel Arnold in close-in position. Later on the 5th ball of the over, umpire S Venkatraghavan turned down an LBW appeal which looked to be a certain wicket. Chaminda Vaas voluntarily bowled some medium pace deliveries from the other end. On the last ball of the over, Henry Olanga edge a delivery into Kumar Sangakkara’s hands and Vaas couldn’t stop himself from appeal when his teammates remained silent.

Asoka de Silva had no option other than raising his finger only to bring an end to Murali’s 10-wicket haul hunt. Interestingly, one month before this game, Chaminda Vaas registered the best bowling figures in ODI history by taking 8/19 against Zimbabwe only. When Vaas was all set to become the first man to take all ten wickets in a One-Dayer, Muralitharan bagged two wickets in space of three balls to deny a historic moment.