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Cracker of a farewell for Murali at Galle

July 20, 2010 19:13 IST

Firecrackers went off in the stadium as Muttiah Muralitharan stepped out to bat in his swansong Test and players from both India and Sri Lanka also did their bit to make the spin wizard's farewell match a memorable affair.

The rain-marred match has risen in profile as it is Muralitharan's final Test at the end of which, he would bid adieu to his 18-year-old career. 

The weathergods dampened the atmosphere on the first two days but when Muralitharan finally got a chance to come on the field to bat, firecrackers went off in the stadium to salute the veteran off-spinner.

The emotional quotient rose further when the visiting Indian players, in a touching gesture, formed a guard of honour as Muralitharan stepped out, a rare sight for a number 10 batsman.

Muralitharan also got pats on his back from the Indians, ho tried to make the occasion special for the Lankan, just eight shy of touching the 800-wicket mark. 

The warmth did not end at that and when the Indian innings began, it was the Sri Lankans who formed a guard of honour for their legendary teammate after stepping out to field.

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