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 warne acheived 700 test wickets

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whetzel
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PostSubject: warne acheived 700 test wickets   Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:24 pm

Almost everything Shane Warne touched at the MCG turned to farewell gold, but he didn't quite fulfil his plan to dismiss Andrew Strauss for his 700th wicket. Glenn McGrath asked Warne early in his spell how he was going to dismiss Strauss and the bowler's answer was half wrong.

"I said I'd bowl him through the gate sweeping," Warne said. "In that over I bowled him through the gate but it wasn't sweeping, it was driving. When that sort of stuff happens you know something is going right for you."

Strauss' dismissal sent Warne on a sprint towards the Great Southern Stand but he "got puffed" and had to stop before he was mobbed by his team-mates and celebrated by the crowd. Among the 89,155 spectators were his three children, parents and brother and he was still amazed by the emotion when he spoke after play.

"There are some special days that happen in your life and some special things that happen and that is definitely one of them," he said. "The birth of your children, getting married, playing your first Test, they're pretty special. From an individual point of view that's got to be one of the best days I've ever had."

Strauss wasn't feeling as comfortable with his new place in cricket history. "It's a great achievement for him and something that will live long in many people's memory, but probably not mine," he said. "It was a very full ball and I'm not quite sure how I missed it. I probably didn't hit it as straight as I could have done."

Warne's fingers were affected by the cold but he became more comfortable as they warmed after tea and some misplaced slogs from the tail-enders and the wickets of Strauss, Kevin Pietersen and Chris Read pushed him to 704 by stumps. The 5 for 39 was only the third time Warne had collected five wickets on his home ground - the first was in his opening game at the ground in 1992-93 - and it was a special occasion from the moment Ricky Ponting let him lead out the team.

His day began at 6am when he woke to host a breakfast for the Shane Warne Foundation and the guest list also included the early risers Glenn McGrath and Kevin Pietersen. Like everything else Warne did today, the function was a success.

As Australia knocked 48 runs off England's advantage of 159 Warne was struggling to believe his first-day impact on a seaming surface. "Today was something to get pretty excited about," he said. "We knocked them over for 150, I got five-for and took my 700th wicket, it's pretty hard to keep those emotions in. I just enjoyed it. To take five-for on a seaming wicket on the first day as a legspinner makes you feel pretty good."

Despite reaching the untouched milestone, Warne expects the record will be lost quickly to Muttiah Muralitharan, who has 674 victims. Warne again predicted Muralitharan would reach 1000, but he wasn't sure how long his own mark would remain out of reach to the next generations of bowlers.

"Fifteen to 20 years ago you would have thought 'who would get to 400 or 500?'" he said. "Someone might keep coming up getting 800, 900, 1000 and I might be way down the order. Who knows?"
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PostSubject: Re: warne acheived 700 test wickets   Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:28 pm

Dennis Lillee was Shane Warne's childhood hero and back then DK's collection of 355 Test wickets was the most coveted bowling record in Australia. It didn't worry young tearaways that the mark was crept past by Richard Hadlee, Kapil Dev and Ian Botham. It might have seemed untouchable in the late 1980s, but it was still the one to aim for.

Applying the attacking approach of Lillee with the slow-bowling trickery of the early 20th century, Warne has almost doubled it. Lillee's haul was overtaken six years ago and in becoming the first player to 700 wickets in Melbourne today - he also won the race with Muttiah Muralitharan to 500 and 600 - Warne has extended the dreamy milestone. Murali hopes to reach 900, but Warne has only one more match to extend his tally after planning his retirement after the fifth Test in Sydney.

At Perth last week he moved to 699 wickets in an exercise that was almost stage-managed. The WACA was half-full as Australia wrapped up the Ashes and despite the cold, wet and windy conditions here the MCG was almost packed. Its suitability as a stage was perfect for Warne.

Every time he rolled his arms in the slips the crowd chanted his name. He was eventually called by Ponting at 2.51pm for the 41st over and started to a standing ovation before Paul Collingwood was booed for lofting him for a boundary. The fourth over was the one for history and, at 3.18pm, Andrew Strauss became the crucial figure.

Strauss has been troubled by Warne in the past two series and he over-balanced as he tried to drive. The ball was not stopped by bat or pad and it spun into middle stump. Warne took off with one arm raised and finished at the end of a fast-bowler's run-up before he found his first team-mate to hug. Extra police stood in a ring inside the boundary ropes to stop anyone running on to the field - nobody challenged them - and in the stands gold "700" signs were waved.

Warne raised the ball above his head to recognise the crowd and his team-mates clapped as they tried to stand in a circle of respect. Aleem Dar joined in the hand-shaking and the supporters continued to roar. The locals have cheered him since he played his opening Test at the ground against West Indies in 1992-93, his third in all, when he starred with 7 for 52 in the second innings.

Rodney Hogg, the former Australia fast bowler, first saw Warne in a Melbourne grade game and wrote in his newspaper column the legspinner would take 500 Test wickets. He was sacked and the editors weren't the only ones who doubted the numbers that could be created. Warne was told by Terry Jenner after Jacques Kallis became his 300 th victim he could double the total. He felt his long-term mentor was mad.

Old Trafford hosted Warne's 600th victim in 2005, when he took 96 wickets in the year, and since then he has continued to stay a couple of moves ahead of Muralitharan. Together they are at home in the Pacific Ocean while their closest counterparts swim in the Atlantic. They jostled for the right to reach 500, Warne winning in Galle in 2004 on his return from the one-year drugs ban, and once Muralitharan recovered from a shoulder problem their figures rose like waters affected by global warming.

Murali stands at 674 and barring another serious injury will hold the bowling record for decades. At 37, Warne is looking forward to a rest. He has started to look old in this series and the aches have lasted longer after each of his marathon spells. The retirement announcement on Thursday came as a surprise, but in his last game at the MCG he has waved goodbye to his home-ground with another first.
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PostSubject: Re: warne acheived 700 test wickets   Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:32 pm

The crown may sit slightly uncomfortably for Shane Warne, but before he collected the world record he was already Australian bowling's king. Warne deferred to Dennis Lillee before the second Test, saying "DK" would always be the country's greatest, but a coronation that started when he passed his hero in sleepy Auckland in 2000 is now complete.

Lillee's 355 wickets sat in the throne for three years, until they were passed by Richard Hadlee, and Warne's reign could be over in a couple of months. But Warne changed the game in a way Lillee never could. Where Lillee incited, Warne excited. Lillee's legion charged in, wore headbands, flicked off sweat with their fingers and got wickets. Warne's disciples tried to spin the ball metres and struggled to land it on the pitch. After Lillee came McDermott, Hughes, McGrath and Gillespie. After Warne there is Cameron White, whose spin is more like Anil Kumble's than his Victoria team-mate's.

Warne has inspired playgrounds full of flippers, but researchers can find nothing nearing a clone. A soccer striker can pot goals at will from inside the area, but very few can curl the ball in regularly from 30 yards. Over 22 yards, Warne has changed the way Australians watch the game and revived interest in an art that had been dying since the days of Clarrie Grimmett and Bill O'Reilly.

Early in his career he was gazed at because he was stunningly different to the pace monotony. Later he was monitored to see if the magic remained after long absences with serious shoulder, finger and diuretic issues. Yet, he still kept swallowing milestones: Paul Wiseman to pass Lillee, Alec Stewart for 400, Hashan Tillakaratne for 500 and Upul Chandana, in Cairns, to equal Muttiah Muralitharan on 527.

But 533 was the one he - and everyone else - was waiting for. Losing the plot in the first Test as he pushed too hard for history, Warne stepped out on his own when Irfan Pathan edged to Matthew Hayden in the first session. With a regal air he collected the ball from David Shepherd and waved it to the crowd. However, the new status did not prevent a pounding from Virender Sehwag, who he eventually had caught in the deep. India have always troubled him.


Beginning against them in 1991-92, Warne must have wondered if he'd ever get a Test wicket. A podgy 22-year-old who had been booted from the Academy, he was pasted all over the SCG by Ravi Shastri, who became his only wicket alongside 150 runs. But he kept ripping the ball with his strong wrists and foiled a late charge by Sri Lanka when they threatened to sneak away in 1992. Back in Australia he introduced his flipper against West Indies and the Ball of the Century to Mike Gatting turned his career. The wattle-blond bombshell had arrived.

"Hollywood" was an early nickname and everyone tuned in to see what the blockbuster would do next. He once complained his life was a soap opera. Raking through the closets of Ramsay Street's Dr Karl and Summer Bay's Alf Stewart could never create so much interest. Drug scandals followed hat-tricks, lewd text messages were sent with the same fingers delivering mystery balls. Potty-mouthed sledging was heard on microphones and he was often overweight. Photographers camped outside his house and followed his children to school whenever he was required for the front pages instead of the back.

Through it all he continued to plot wickets and retired from the one-day game, prolonging his career in whites and his attack on the world record. While losing the mark to Muralitharan seems inevitable, it will take somebody extra-special - more talented, more engaging, more prolific than Lillee, Miller or McGrath - to knock off Warne as Australia's greatest bowler.
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PostSubject: Re: warne acheived 700 test wickets   Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:12 pm

legend ov the game

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