Sri Lanka Spinner Prabath Jayasuriya Shatter’s 71-Year-Old Test Record
Prabath Jayasuriya broke a 71-year-old record© AFP
Sri Lanka spinner Prabath Jayasuriya broke a 71-year-old record when he dismissed Ireland’s Paul Stirling to claim his 50th Test wicket on the final day of the second Test in Galle on Friday. Jayasuriya hit the 50-wicket mark in his seventh test to take away the record from West Indies’ Alf Valentine as the spinner to reach the 50-wicket milestone in the fewest number of matches. The 31-year-old Jayasuriya has been sensational since his rise in test format. He made his debut against Australia in July 2022, when he finished with the fourth-best debut match figures of 12/177.
Jayasuriya has picked up five wickets in an innings six times including 5/174 in Ireland’s first innings of the second Test in Galle. He only needs a five-wicket haul in the second innings to register 10 wickets in a match for a third time.
Before Jayasuriya, Valentine was the record holder he made an immediate impact following his debut in 1950. He was the leading wicket-taker with 33 scalps in four Tests as West Indies won a Test series in England for the first time.
The left-arm orthodox spinner took his 50th wicket in the fourth Test of the West Indies tour of Australia in 1951/52. He achieved the feat in his eighth match and set a record that lasted for more than 71 years.
The Sri Lankan spinner can now set out to chase down the record for reaching 100 wickets in the fewest matches.
England quick George Lohmann took a 100th wicket in his 16th Test in 1896, while leg-spinners Clarrie Grimmett of Australia and Yasir Shah of Pakistan are among four bowlers to achieve the feat in their 17th Test.
Jayasuriya has now claimed the record while also becoming the equal-second fastest overall to reach the 50-wicket mark along with Vernon Philander of South Africa and Tom Richardson of England.
The two pacers also picked up 50 wickets in seven tests. Philander ahieved this feat in 2012 and Richardson did it in 1896.
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