Shamik Das

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Five-star Warne in 700th heaven

"Thank you! Thank you very much!"

Melbourne, Fourth Test, First Day: Australia 48/2 v England 159 (Strauss 50; Warne 5-39)

Shane Warne bagged his 700th Test wicket as Australia took control on day one of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Fittingly, Andrew Strauss was victim no. 700, the opener falling to Warne for the eighth time in 17 Ashes innings having just passed 50 - the only England batsman to exert the scorers.

Shane Warne clean bowls Andrew Strauss to bring up his 700th Test wicket    Shane Warne wheels away in celebration having chalked up his 700th Test wicket

Chris Read, Steve Harmison, Kevin Pietersen and Monty Panesar also fell to Warne as England capitulated having earlier won the toss and chosen, quite inexplicably, to bat first in overcast conditions with a slow, wet outfield which yielded only nine boundaries as the visitors crawled along at 2.14 an over.

Glen McGrath joined in the fun by snaring Sajid Mahmood for a duck - picking up his 150th Ashes wicket - while Brett Lee and Stuart Clark grabbed two scalps apiece to dismiss England for a paltry 159.

Shane Warne leads Australia off the field to the acclaim of a packed MCG

But it was Shane Warne, playing on his home ground in his penultimate Test match in front of the highest recorded Test attendance anywhere in the world of 100,000 who stole the show.

Catch the first day's highlights tonight on BBC Two at 11:00, and listen to live coverage of day two on Radio 4 198LW and the BBC Sport website from 11:30.


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