Top 5 bowlers with most five-wicket hauls in Test
As much as the game of cricket is about the simplistic, artful contest between bat and ball, we, as its ardent followers, have added different layers to it with passing time, with statistics being one of the most fundamental of them. Quantifying a player's ability with numbers is an age-old practice, but the mathematics of the game never ceases to amaze, even 140 years into Test cricket.
For a sport that is inclined more towards the batsmen, a five-wicket haul for a spinner is no mean feat, signifying much more than the fact that one person single-handedly managed to pocket half the side.
Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath, with a six-for in the second innings of the Colombo Test, helped his side achieve a whitewash over South Africa, their first series win against them since 2006. In the process, he broke into the top-5 of a list filled with illustrious stars:
Here's the complete list of players with the most five-wicket hauls in Test cricket:
#5 Rangana Herath (34)
Rangana Herath's stop-start career, that started way back in 1999, finally took flight after Muttiah Muralitharan bowed out of the game. The left-arm spinner had a huge void to fill but kept delivering the goods like a relentless workaholic, picking up wickets in bucketfuls, even with his age crossing 35.
From 2000 to 2004, there was a whole chunk of four years in his career where he did not play a single Test. During that time, Muttiah Muralitharan was at the peak of his powers. A similar absence took place between 2005 and 2008, and it seemed as if Herath would be gone for good, but the way his career picked up a the turn of the decade is an engrossing tale in itself.
He's gone past 40 now but still continues to be a vital cog in the Lankan side that is struggling in Tests after the departure of several experienced stalwarts. Having already gone past Daniel Vettori as the leading wicket-taking left-arm spinner in Tests, he has very little left to achieve in the game on an individual level but added another feather to his cap by picking up his 34th five-wicket haul in Tests, entering into the top-5 of the list after Sri Lanka's whitewash over South Africa.
He plans to retire after the England series later this year.