Rangana Herath Goes Past Chaminda Vaas, Behind Only Muralitharan

Rangana Herath has surpassed Chaminda Vaas to become Sri Lanka’s second highest wicket-taking bowler in Test cricket. He achieved the feat on the second day of the second Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town. Bowling the second over of the day, Herath sent down a quicker one that took the edge of night-watchman Kyle Abbott and launched into the gloves of Dinesh Chandimal. It was Herath’s 356th Test wicket. He got to the landmark in the 77th game of his career and surpassed Vaas, who had 355 wickets from 111 Tests in a stellar career that spanned over a decade-and-a-half. Herath is now only behind Muttiah Muralitharan, who tops the list with 800 wickets from 133 Tests — though 5 of his wickets came from a Test for ICC World XI against Australia.

Of course, Herath is not in contention as far as breaking Murali’s world record of 800 Test wickets is concerned. This means Herath will have to be content with the second spot by the time he finishes. However, there is another record which Herath can eye. Apart from becoming Sri Lanka’s second highest wicket-taker in Tests, Herath now also has third-most wickets in Tests by a left-arm bowler behind Wasim Akram (414 from 104 games) and Daniel Vettori (362 from 113). He was tied at third spot with Vaas when he took field today. Herath may surpass Vettori in this series itself and have second-most Test wickets by a left-handed bowler.

Herath has been the mainstay of Sri Lankan bowling since Murali’s retirement. He has been carrying the burden of expectations for the island team for some time now and has emerged as their biggest match-winner in the post-Murali era. At present, he is playing the three-match Test series at South Africa and it is hard to predict for how long the veteran spinner will continue to play, given he is already 38.

Herath has chosen the perfect day to reach the landmark, for earlier in the day Murali became the first Sri Lankan to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

(Cricket Country)

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