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Sri Lanka's Prabath Jayasuriya rewrote a seven-decade history by racing to 50 Test wickets in just seven matches. Image Credit: AFP

Galle: Sri Lanka’s Prabath Jayasuriya became the quickest spin bowler in Test history to claim 50 wickets on Friday in Galle, breaking a seven-decade record.

The left-armer reached the milestone on day five against Ireland, only Jayasuriya’s seventh Test, when he had first-innings centurion Paul Stirling caught by a diving Kusal Mendis at short extra cover.

The 31-year-old Jayasuriya came into the match with 43 wickets. He took five wickets in Ireland’s first innings and dismissed Peter Moor on day four in their second.

Second quickest

The previous fastest spinner to the 50-wicket mark was West Indian great Alf Valentine, who reached the mark in eight Tests.

Jayasuriya is the joint second-quickest to 50 Test scalps among all bowlers. Australian fast bowler Charlie Turner got there in six Tests in 1888.

Fellow quick Englishman Tom Richardson and South African seamer Vernon Philander took seven matches to reach it in 1896 and 2012 respectively.