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Warne takes 700th wicket in penultimate test

Warne takes 700th wicket in penultimate test

Shane Warne added another milestone to his masterful career, becoming the first bowler to take 700 test wickets when he removed England opener Andrew Strauss in the fourth Ashes match.
After squeezing a delivery between Strauss' bat and pad and knocking middle stump Tuesday, Warne wheeled away to his left, pointing his right index finger in the air, as a crowd estimated around 90,000 rose to give him a standing ovation.
The 37-year-old legspinner is playing his 144th and penultimate test, having announced before the Melbourne Cricket Ground match that reclaiming the Ashes was the best way to finish his international career.
The 700th test wicket was his 187th against England and came 13 years after he entered cricket folklore by bowling Mike Gatting with his first ball in an Ashes test.
Warne was quickly surrounded by his teammates at the non-striker's end and later held up the ball to acknowledge his home crowd.
Strauss was out for 50, on the second ball of Warne's fourth over, and England was 101 for four after winning the toss and deciding to bat.
It was Warne's 15th wicket of the series, including a four-wicket haul on the last morning in Adelaide that propelled Australia to an unlikely win in the second test.
He took five wickets in the win at Perth that gave Australia a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
Warne was also the first bowler to reach the 600 test wicket barrier, achieving that in the third Ashes test in England last year when he had then England vice-captain Marcus Trescothick caught behind at Manchester.
"Obviously nobody has done that before _ I'm proud of that achievement, it's always nice to be the first," he said at the time. "It's been an amazing ride."
That moment was tinged with upheaval for Warne, whose marriage broke down before the 2005 Ashes series when the latest in a long line of sex scandals hit the British tabloids.
And despite his 40 wickets in the series, Australia surrendered the Ashes for the first time in Warne's career.
Warne's removal of Strauss on Tuesday was not as dramatic as the classic legbreak that launched his Ashes career at Manchester in 1993.
His debut ball at Old Trafford pitched in the rough outside leg stump, ripped across England captain Gatting and knocked out the stumps _ it was dubbed the "ball of the century."
The Gatting ball in '93 inspired a spin-bowling renaissance with Warne becoming one of the most recognizable cricketers ever.
But Warne's cricket successes have been shrouded by off-field controversies since his debut against India in 1992.
He has had to overcome serious finger and shoulder injuries and other upheavals including a rebuke for inappropriate dealings with an Indian bookmaker, a 12-month ban for testing positive to a banned diuretic and a string of salacious reports about his private life.
Through it all, his skill has rarely waned. Consequently nor has Australia's position atop the cricket standings.
Warne has headed the bowling list since taking his 533rd wicket in October 2004.
He was the second bowler to reach 500 wickets, following West Indies paceman Courtney Walsh, who retired with 519 wickets in 132 tests.
Sri Lanka offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan beat Warne to Walsh's record but had a lengthy spell on the sidelines after injuring his shoulder in 2004. Muralitharan is second on the all-time list with 674 wickets in 110 test matches.


Updated : 2021-04-23 01:10 GMT+08:00