Shamik Das

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Poms in need of emergency help as Warne hits 999

Shane Warne wheels away in celebration after picking up his 999th international wicket    Shane Warne is chaired from the field by fellow MCG heroes Andrew Symonds and Matthew Hayden

Melbourne, Fourth Test, Third Day: England 159 & 161 (Lee 4-47, Clark 3-30) lost to Australia 419 (Symonds 156, Hayden 153; Mahmood 4-100) by an innings and 99 runs

England suffered the ignominy of an innings defeat inside three days as Australia completed a perfect ten for 2006 to remain on course for the first Ashes whitewash since 1921.

Shane Warne once again was the star of the show, scoring an unbeaten 40 and snaring Sajid Mahmood and Steve Harmison to clock up 999 international wickets on this his final appearance at the MCG.

It was Australia's tenth win out of ten this calendar year, their 15th success out of the 16 Tests they've played since losing the urn in 2005; while for England the current series represents their worst run by some distance for many years.

The raising of the white flag was as swift as it was predictable: not one England batsman scoring more than 31, Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood once again flattering to deceive, with even Kevin Pietersen among those to throw his wicket away - clean bowled by the impressive Stuart Clark for a solitary run despite having been promoted up the order.

With morale at an all time low and the attitude of the players leaving much to be desired, England are in need of some urgent assistance ...

Superintendent Chalmers putting the frighteners up England coach Duncan Fletcher    Leopold giving the England players a piece of his mind

... time to put in that S.O.S. call to Springfield and get Superintendent Chalmers and his fixer Leopold to whip this lamentable bunch of preening Prima Donnas into shape!

Merry Christmas!!! It can only get better in 2007, can't it!?! ;-)

Catch the third day's highlights tonight on BBC Two at 11:10, and watch The Simpsons on Channel Four this afternoon from 5:00 to 6:00


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