McGrath joins 500 club

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:54 IST

Australia paceman Glenn McGrath became the fourth man in test cricket history to take 500 wickets on Thursday, the opening day of the Ashes series.

McGrath joins 500 club

London:

Australia paceman Glenn McGrath became the fourth man in test cricket history to take 500 wickets on Thursday, the opening day of the Ashes series. McGrath began the day with 499, and reached the milestone with the first ball after tea when he had England's Marcus Trescothick caught by Justin Langer at third slip for 4. Teammate Michael Kasprowicz ran onto Lord's immediately with a pair of specially made PONY brand boots with "500" embroidered on them in gold, which the paceman promptly pulled on. "My sponsor made them up for the 500 if I could get that one wicket," McGrath said. "I'm normally not much of a show pony but I thought today I probably deserve it," he added with a grin. Four balls later, McGrath added his 501st wicket when Andrew Strauss edged to Shane Warne at first slip. Wickets tumbleMcGrath followed with the scalps of captain Michael Vaughan, Ian Bell and Andrew Flintoff to end up taking 5-2 in the space of 31 balls and finish the day with 504 test wickets. He was 5-21 off 13 overs at stumps, with his 27th five-wicket haul in tests and eighth against England. "I couldn't have scripted it any better," McGrath said. "Probably the first real time I thought about it was this morning at breakfast, which is surprising, and I started to get a few butterflies in the stomach - probably more anticipation with the test series coming up. "To go out there and knock it over and finish day one with it under the belt, it's a great feeling." Warne holds recordWarne, who didn't take a wicket, held the record with 583, followed by Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka on 539, and the retired West Indies quick Courtney Walsh with 519. McGrath's haul answered comments by England paceman Matthew Hoggard, who suggested in the leadup that Australia's bowlers may be over the hill, saying they were "getting on a bit." "I had a bit of a laugh when I read it, but I'm feeling good, I'm probably feeling younger than I ever have," said 35-year-old McGrath. Steve Harmison, who ripped through the Australian lineup with 5-43 from 11.2 overs, was full of praise for his fellow fast bowler. "It's a phenomenal achievement, 500 test wickets," Harmison said. "I don't think Glenn McGrath has to prove any points." (AP)



Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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