Murali determined to level series
by CricketArchive

Player:M Muralitharan
Event:Sri Lanka in England 2006

DateLine: 30th May 2006


Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is doubly determined that Sri Lanka would win the upcoming third Test at Nottingham's Trent Bridge ground on Friday. It will be Muraliís final Test appearance in England.


The 34-year-old off-spinner took 10 for 115 in the second Test at Edgbaston that concluded on Sunday. The Lankan legend extended his world record of ten or more wicket hauls in Test matches to 15. England struggled to make 78 in the second innings losing four wickets to Murali. England leads the series 1-0. The first Test at Lordís was drawn.


Murali, who has played for English counties Kent and Lancashire, will be nearing 40 by the time of Sri Lanka's next tour of England in 2011 and he made it clear the Trent Bridge fixture would be his last game on English soil.


"I am very determined to win at Nottingham and go out in England on a high," Murali said. ``I would love to draw the series from the position we find ourselves in. We have an important one-day series afterwards but this is the big one for me,Ē noted Murali while writing for a website based in England.


Murali felt that in both the games the youngsters had given a good account of themselves and the team had a lot to learn from the way they batted in the second innings at Lordís. The off-spinner who bowled his side to a big win at the Oval in 1998 with nine wickets in an innings and 16 in the match felt the team has to put in a collective effort than be dependent on individuals. "It would be nice if we could give ourselves a chance to get into the game this time instead of keep chasing it."


One England batsman though seems to have got a measure of Murali - Kevin Pietersen, whose dynamic 142 won him the man-of-the-match award at Edgbaston. Murali last played a first-class match at Trent Bridge in 2003 when Pietersen (now with Hampshire) scored 100 off 99 balls for Nottinghamshire against Kent.


Muralitharan has taken 624 wickets in 105 Tests at an average of 22.28, a tally that also includes 52 hauls of five or more wickets in an innings. Only Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, with 685, has taken more Test wickets than Muralitharan.


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