Milestones still matter for Murali

BIRMINGHAM, England, May 27, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka star Muttiah Muralitharan insisted he hadn’t tired of taking wickets after adding six more to his vast collection against England here at Edgbaston.

The off-spinner’s haul of six for 82 was the only thing that stood between England and a mammoth first innings lead on the second day of the second Test.

As it was, thanks to Kevin Pietersen’s astonishing 142, England achieved a first innings lead of 154 and, by stumps, were looking at going 1-0 up in the three-match series after reducing Sri Lanka to 86 for four in their second innings – still 68 behind.

Muralitharan’s return took his tally of Test wickets to 620 – a figure bettered only in the history of the game by Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne’s total of 685.

It was also the 52nd time in 105 Tests that the 34-year-old Muralitharan, whose career has been dogged by controversy over the legitimacy of his extraordinary action, had taken five or more wickets in an innings.

But Murali, who has played county cricket alongside current England captain Andrew Flintoff at Lancashire, said his latest ‘five for’ mattered as much as his first.

“This one means a lot to me becaus