Hobart:Australia's second innings declaration on Monday ensured Muttiah Muralitharan's quest to claim Shane Warne's Test wicket-taking record will not end in Australia.
Australian skipper Ricky Ponting set Sri Lanka an improbable 507 runs to win the second Test in Hobart and square the two-match series after declaring his team's second innings at 210 for two before lunch on Monday's fourth day.
Before the series Ponting expressed a desire for the freakish off-spinner to leave Australia without Warne's Test record of 708 wickets.
Muralitharan will now chase the five wickets he needs to pass Warne's haul in this month's home Test series against England.
It has been a exasperating series for Muralitharan, mauled by the Australian batsmen and receiving minimal support from his bowling teammates.
In his three bowling innings of the series the 35-year-old contortionist spinner took 2-170, 1-140 and 1-90, leaving him with 4-400 at a profligate cost of 100 runs a wicket.
That contrasts with his 115-Test career bowling average of 21.77.
"In Brisbane I thought I bowled well but the batsmen play well. Sometimes it happens. You can't do much else but put it in the right places. Some days it works. That's the way a career goes," Muralitharan said.
Muralitharan has had little support from his fellow bowlers during the series.