Rangana Herath has been Sri Lanka’s premier match-winner for the last seven years. His consistency and class have ensured that the team has not missed the services of Muttiah Muralitharan, who retired in 2010 against India after becoming the first bowler to take 800 wickets in Tests.
In the Colombo Test against Bangladesh, the 38-year-old Rangana Herath added yet another feather to his cap as he became only the second Sri Lankan bowler in history after Muralitharan to take 1000 first-class wickets.
On day three of the second Test, Bangladesh made magnificent progress as Shakib Al Hasan slammed his fifth century to give the visitors a lead of over 100 in their 100th Test.
However, Rangana Herath, who had picked up the wicket of Tamim Iqbal on Thursday, came back and snapped up Mehedi Hasan for 18 to move to 999 wickets. He immediately got his 1,000th wicket when he trapped Mustafizur Rahman LBW first ball. Although he missed the hat-trick, Herath got the wicket of Mossaddek Hossain for 75 as Bangladesh were bowled out for 467.
In the previous Test in Galle, Herath created history as he became the leading left-arm spinner in Tests when he overtook Daniel Vettori’s mark of 362. His 29th five-wicket haul allowed Sri Lanka to register an easy 259-run win over Bangladesh and it cemented Herath’s class.
Muralitharan has a total of 1,374 wickets in first-class cricket while Herath is the 12th Asian bowler to achieve this milestone. Among Asian bowlers, Pakistan’s Intikhab Alam holds the record for the most wickets with 1571 followed by Indian spinner Bishan Singh Bedi with 1560.
Rangana Herath joins a special list of left-arm spinners who have taken over 1000 wickets. Wilfred Rhodes of England, who played cricket for 32 years, is the leading bowler in first-class cricket with a whopping 4204 wickets.
(With inputs from S. Pervez Qaiser)