Murali inspires Sri Lanka

Home batsmen build lead after off-spinner's milestone

By Rob Lancaster.   Last Updated: 03/12/07 1:57pm

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Milestone moment for Muralitharan

Milestone moment for Muralitharan

Sky Bet

Muttiah Muralitharan became the leading wicket taker in Test history as Sri Lanka seized control of the first Test against England.

The off-spinner clean bowled Paul Collingwood for 45 to move to 709 in his career - putting him out on his own on top after he had drawn level with Shane Warne on day two.

A further wicket - that of Matthew Hoggard stumped - saw him finish with 6-55 as England were bowled out for 281, giving them a first innings lead of 93.

By the close of play Sri Lanka had turned that deficit into a lead of 74 by reaching 167-2. Sanath Jayasuriya led the way with 78 in what he later confirmed will be his final Test appearance.

Waiting game

Muralitharan opened up in the morning, though he was forced to wait for his landmark.

His opening nine-over spell saw him frustrated by a seventh-wicket stand of 57 that put England into a good position.

Paul Collingwood and Ryan Sidebottom stood firm against all the Sri Lankans threw at them, the latter even out-scoring the senior batsman during the stand.

Sidebottom struck a Test-best 31 before eventually falling to a sharp catch by wicketkeeper wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene after 99 minutes at the crease.

Collingwood continued to battle on until becoming part of history in the very first over of Muralitharan's second spell.

The loss of the last recognised batsman was followed by a quick finish to the innings, Hoggard becoming wicket number 710 for the off-spinner when he was stumped down the leg side.

Chaminda Vaas dismissed James Anderson as England were bowled out for 281 - giving them a useful advantage of 93.

Jayasuriya signs off in style

The tourists would have been hoping for a repeat performance of the first innings when a superb spell of new-ball bowling from Hoggard had the home side five down for just 47.

However, this time the edges were not forthcoming and Sri Lanka's openers wiped out the deficit without losing a wicket.

Jayasuriya appeared intent on finishing his Test career on a high. The left-hander, making his 110th appearance, hit six successive fours in one Anderson over and dispatched Hoggard for six before perishing leg before for a well-made 78 to the Yorkshire seamer.

The 38-year-old confirmed at the close of play that this will be his final Test, although he plans to continue in one-day internationals.

Anderson made a further breakthrough prior to the close - Michael Vandort's 143-ball innings ended one short of a half-century when Ian Bell plucked a superb diving catch out of the air at second slip.

Sri Lanka reached the close at 167-2 with Kumar Sangakkara on 30 not out.

A further blow for England was the absence in the field during Sri Lanka's second innings of Kevin Pietersen due to a fractured little finger on his right hand.

Pietersen batted with the problem in England's first innings, making 31 from 57 balls, and it is not yet clear if the injury is serious enough to keep him out of the remainder of the series.

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