This day that year: Muttiah Muralitharan played his last ODI


The retired legend from Sri Lanka, Muttiah Muralitharan was undeniably the best spinner the cricket world has ever seen. For a laymen to be satisfied of his greatness, the numbers he achieved with the ball seems pretty sufficient. But for an analyst, the variations in his orthodox finger spin which he mastered over the course of his career are the sorts to feed upon the curiosities.

Muttiah’s spin anatomy

The great degree of turn which used to be the pivotal fact of Muttiah’s off-break deliveries was actually the result of his flexible wrist teamed with an agile rotation of the shoulder that resembled a lot like that of a fast bowler. To make it more surprising for the batsman, Murali sported a scornful bowling action.

All this became more lethal when the spinner in the later years of his career came with the concept of ‘Doosra’. This concept of turning the ball in the other way against the spin added more glory to Muttiah’s class of bowling and he became the leading wicket-taker in the world.

Till date, Muttiah Muralitharan holds the record for being the highest wicket-taker in ODIs (534) and tests (800).

The final ODI match (2nd April 2011)

The legend played his last one-day international against India in the ICC Cricket World Cup of 2011. Playing first in the match, Sri Lanka set a decent target of 274 runs for the hosts. Mahela Jayawardene with his unbeaten 103 was the major highlight of the Sri Lankan innings. In response, Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni played beautiful knocks of 97 and 91* respectively and thus, won the match for India with 10 balls left in the end. Muralitharan in his spell of 8 overs couldn’t take any wicket, but bowled economically.

With that match, the legend retired from the one-day format of the game.


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