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Ashes: Warne gets wickets 700-704, puts Australia in control

Ashes: Warne gets wickets 700-704, puts Australia in control

Shane Warne bowled Andrew Strauss to capture an unprecedented 700th test wicket and then added Nos. 701-704 in quick succession to rub it in against England.
After winning the toss and electing to bat in moist and overcast conditions Tuesday, England was bundled out for 159 on the opening day of the fourth test against Australia.
Warne returned 5-39 from 17.2 overs _ including 4-18 as England lost its last six wickets for 42 after tea _ for his 37th five-wicket innings haul.
"Whoever writes my scripts is doing an unbelievable job ... keep it going," Warne said. "I can't stop shaking my head just believing it happened to be honest. It was a pretty amazing day."
He compared it with the "special days" in his life, like having children, getting married and making his test debut.
"That's probably one of the best days I've ever had," the 37-year-old legspinner said.
The English hit back late with captain Andrew Flintoff taking wickets on consecutive balls, both caught behind, as Australia slipped from 44 without loss to 44 for two.
Chris Read, recalled at the expense of Geraint Jones, took a low catch to complete the dismissal of Justin Langer (27) and then held onto a thick edge from night watchman Brett Lee (0) on the next ball.
Ricky Ponting watched the hat-trick ball go down legside and did not score in the remaining seven minutes before stumps. Matthew Hayden was unbeaten on 17 and Australia was 48 for two.
Flintoff had 2-20 from five overs and Matthew Hoggard, who had two justifiable shouts for lbw against Hayden turned down, returned 0-27.
Having already guaranteed it will reclaim the Ashes with a 3-0 series lead, Australia is pushing to be only the second team to sweep a five-test Ashes series.
Warne, playing his 144th and penultimate test, was urged on by a 89,155-strong crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground that chanted for him to be introduced to the attack for most of the rain-interrupted morning.
He took the ball in England's 41st over and claimed his 700th wicket on the second ball of his fourth over when he squeezed a delivery between Strauss' bat and pad.
Strauss was out for 50 and England slipped to 101 for four, and never really recovered.
Warne wheeled around to his left, pointing his right finger in the air, as the huge crowd rose to give him a standing ovation.
Warne said he was overcome by the emotions. Strauss said it was a moment most of the cricket world would remember, but one he'd rather forget.
"It was a great moment for a great player (but) it's not a consolation as you're trudging off the ground," Strauss said. "We got to 100 for two ... Unfortunately we lost wickets at some pretty crucial times at the back end and we're somewhere short of where we wanted to be."
When Warne took the last wicket on a gloomy day and on a field illuminated by floodlights _ Monty Panesar caught by Andrew Symonds at mid-on _ Warne held the ball up to more thunderous applause from his home crowd.
The fast bowlers all contributed, with Lee and Stuart Clark taking two wickets apiece and Glenn McGrath _ who also is playing his next-to-last test match _ returning 1-37 in 20 overs.
Strauss had defied the Australian bowlers for 205 minutes to post his first half century of the series, having a reprieve on 41 when he sliced Clark to gully and Hayden put down a regulation chance.
Adam Gilchrist also put one down off McGrath's bowling and missed a stumping opportunity when Kevin Pietersen was facing Warne, otherwise the Australians were in control most of the day.
Lee had Alastair Cook (11) caught behind with the total at 23 as the quicks moved the ball around off the seam in the moist conditions.
Clark trapped Ian Bell (7) lbw soon after lunch and Lee returned to end Paul Collingwood's chancy innings on 28.
Collingwood was dropped by Gilchrist on two and survived a big shout for lbw against Symonds before he edged Lee to Ponting at second slip to make the total 101 for three.
Warne dismissed Strauss in the next over, leaving England's last recognized batsmen at the crease.
He then helped remove Flintoff (13), holding a catch at slip off Clark's bowling as England lost its fifth wicket.
Then Warne got on a roll. He removed Read (3) and Steve Harmison (7), had a frustrated Pietersen (21) caught just inside the long-on rope for 21 and finished off with Panesar.
"I thought I'd bowled pretty well in the series and sometimes didn't get the rewards _ I thought a big haul was just around the corner," Warne said. "Today I got the rewards."


Updated : 2021-07-30 18:20 GMT+08:00