Last Updated: February 08, 2023, 09:37 IST
Kapil Dev signed off as the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket with 434 wickets to his credit. (Image: Twitter/ICC)
On This Day in 1994: The moment Kapil claimed his 432nd wicket, 432 balloons were aired up in the ground with spectators giving a standing ovation to him.
On This Day in 1994: Kapil Dev is arguably the greatest all-rounder to have played for India at the international level. He was not just a batting or bowling all-rounder, back in the day, Kapil could have made it to the national side purely as either a bowler or a batter. This incredible all-rounder signed off his career as the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket- a feat he achieved on this very day (February 8) in 1994.
During the Ahmedabad Test against Sri Lanka in 1994, Kapil dismissed Hashan Tillakaratne to surpass Richard Hadlee as the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.
At the start of the match, Kapil was sitting with an equal number of wickets as Hadlee, so it was just a matter of time before Kapil entered the record books with the most number of Test wickets. Winning the toss, Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga opted to bat first and made Kapil’s wait shorter.
Sri Lanka got off to a slow start and the opening pair of Roshan Mahanama, Dulip Samaraweera added 34 runs before Anil Kumble gave India its first breakthrough. And then came the moment Indian cricket fans were waiting for.
At around 10:30 AM, Kapil charged in his run-up to deliver his eighth over of the match in which he got Hashan Tillakaratne caught at short leg by Sanjay Manjrekar. The moment Kapil claimed his 432nd wicket, 432 balloons were aired up in the ground with spectators giving a standing ovation to him. The whole Indian team and stadium were rejoicing at this feat and the match almost came to a halt.
India went on to restrict Sri Lanka at 119 in the first innings thanks to Venkatapathy Raju’s 5-wicket haul. The hosts ultimately won the match by an innings and 17 runs.
After this match, Kapil played only one more Test against New Zealand at Hamilton and announced his retirement. He signed off as the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket with 434 wickets to his credit- a record which later was broken by West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh in 2000. At present, Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan is the leading wicket-taker with 800 Test wickets.
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