Herath targets 400 Test wickets

The left-arm spinner becomes the most successful left-arm spinner with his rich haul against Bangladesh in Galle.

Rangana Herath went past Daniel Vettori, who gathered 362 wickets in his 113-Test career.   -  AP


Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath said he is aiming for a career total of 400 Test wickets after leading his side to a 259-run win over Bangladesh in the first Test in Galle on Saturday. Herath claimed 6 for 59 in the second innings as host Sri Lanka dismissed Bangladesh for 197 in less than two sessions to claim a crushing win, giving it a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.

His 23rd five or more wicket haul in an innings took his Tests tally to 366 wickets, allowing him to leapfrog New Zealand's Daniel Vettori, who has 362 wickets to his name, to become Test cricket's most successful left-arm spinner. Herath took the record-breaking wicket haul in just 79 Tests, compared to Vettori's 113 Tests.

Among all left-arm bowlers, only Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram is ahead of Herath, with 414 wickets. Herath, who will celebrate his 39th birthday next week, said he would like to finish his career with 400 wickets. “I have already played 79 Tests and I am happy with whatever I have achieved so far,” Herath said after the Bangladesh win.

“I don't know how long I will go on and how long I will have my form. But I would like to get to 400 wickets,” he said. “Only a few legends of the game have taken 400 Test wickets. So that will be great. I don't know if I will have this form always. I am looking forward to do my job for the team.”

100 per cent captaincy record

Herath has maintained his 100 per cent record as captain after stepping in for Angelo Mathews. He led Sri Lanka to two wins against Zimbabwe last year and was made captain again for the Bangladesh series in Mathews’ absence. The Sri Lankan cricket board has not said why Mathews was ruled out, but he returned home last month halfway through the South African tour after twisting his ankle.

Herath said he was unsure if he would lead Sri Lanka beyond the Bangladesh series. “It depends on what the selectors think and how Angelo shapes up and we need to have a chat and then decide,” he said.

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