Most Five Wicket Hauls in Test Cricket
In this article, we will take a look at five bowlers who have achieved the most five-wicket hauls in Test cricket. Sri Lankan off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan leads the pack.
1. Muthiah Muralitharan (67)
Sri Lankan off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan holds the record for the most five-wicket innings hauls in Test cricket. In 131 Test matches, he has taken 800 wickets at an average of 22.72 with his best bowling figures of 9/51 and 67 five-wicket hauls. Muralitharan, who began his Test career against Australia in Colombo in 1992, took his first fifer against South Africa in the 1st Test of a series on Sri Lanka’s tour of South Africa in August 1993. His bowling figures of 5/104 in South Africa’s first innings helped bowl them out for 267 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings score of 331. The match ended in a draw with SA finishing at 251/7, chasing a 4th-innings target of 365. He took his last fifer (5/63) in his last Test match against India in Galle in July 2010 to help bowl out India for 263 after Sri Lanka had posted a first-innings score of 520/8 declared. Following on, India were all out for 338 in their second knock, enabling Sri Lanka to knock off the required runs without loss of wickets.
2. Shane Warne (37)
Australian leg spinner Shane Warne has taken 37 five-wicket innings hauls in Test cricket. In 145 Test matches, he has taken 708 wickets at an average of 25.41 with his best bowling figures of 8/71. Warne played his first Test match against India in Sydney in January 1992. He took his first five-wicket haul against the West Indies in Melbourne in December that year. In that match, Australia batted first and posted a score of 395. In reply, the West Indies were bowled out for 233. Australia collapsed in their second innings to be all out for 196. Chasing a target of 359, the West Indies were bowled out for 219 thanks largely to bowling figures of 7/52 returned by Warne. Shane registered his last Test haul of five wickets in an innings in his penultimate match against England in Melbourne in December 2006. In that match, England batted first and were bowled out for 159, in which Warne returned figures of 5/39. Following on, after Australia posted a score of 419, England were bowled out for 161 to leave Australia victorious by an innings and 99 runs.
3. Richard Hadlee (36)
New Zealand’s right-arm fast bowler Richard Hadlee played 86 Test matches in which he took 431 wickets at an average of 22.29. During his Test career, he registered 36 five-wicket hauls including his best bowling figures in an innings of 9/52. Hadlee made his Test debut against Pakistan in Wellington in February 1973. He got his first five-wicket haul against the same rivals in a Test match in Lahore in October 1976. Batting first, Pakistan scored 417. Richard was New Zealand’s most successful bowler, returning figures of 5/121. In reply, New Zealand were bowled out for 157. Following on, they scored 320 before Pakistan knocked off the required runs for victory losing only 4 wickets in the bargain. Hadlee’s last five-wicket haul came in his last match against England in Birmingham in July 1990. Batting first in that match, England scored 435. New Zealand in reply could make only 245 runs. in their second innings, England collapsed to be all out for 158 thanks mainly to Hadlee’s bowling figures of 5/53. However, set a target of 345 to win, New Zealand were bowled out for 230 in the fourth innings.
4. Anil Kumble (35)
Indian leg spinner Anil Kumble has taken 619 Test wickets in 132 matches at an average of 29.65 with his best bowling figures in an innings of 10/74. He has taken 35 five-wicket innings hauls in Test cricket. Kumble made his Test debut against England in Manchester in August 1990. He took his first five-wicket haul in an innings against South Africa at Johannesburg in November 1992. In that game, South Africa batted first and scored 292. In reply, India were bowled out for 227, handing South Africa a lead of 65 runs. However, India fought back to bowl out the hosts for 252 in their second innings with Anil Kumble contributing bowling figures of 6/53. Set a target of 318, India managed to draw the match, finishing on 141/4 on the last day. Kumble’s last five-wicket haul came against Australia in Melbourne in December 2007. Batting first, Australia scored 343. Kumble was India’s most successful bowler with figures of 5/84. India, in reply, were bowled out for 196. After Australia had declared their second innings closed at 351/7, setting India a target of 499, India collapsed to be all out for 161.
5. Rangana Herath (34)
Sri Lankan slow left-arm orthodox spinner Rangana Herath has played 93 Tests and taken 433 wickets at an average of 28.07. He has taken 34 five-wicket hauls, including his best bowling figures in an innings of 9/127. Herath made his Test debut against Australia in Galle in September 1999. he took his first five-wicket haul against Pakistan in Colombo in July 2009. Batting first in that match, Pakistan were bowled out for 90. Sri Lanka replied with a score of 240, taking a handy first innings lead of 150 runs. In their second outing, Pakistan scored 320 with Herath returning figures of 5/99. Sri Lanka chased down the required target of 171 runs, losing only 3 wickets in the process. Herath took his last five-wicket haul in his penultimate match against South Africa in Colombo in July 2018. In that match, Sri Lanka batted first and scored 338. In reply, South Africa were bowled out for 124. In their second innings, Sri Lanka scored 275/5 declared, setting the tourists a target of 490. However, South Africa could not make more than 290 thanks mainly to Herath’s bowling figures of 6/98, paving the way for a Sri Lankan victory by 199 runs.
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