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Warne takes 600th Test wicket

By Tony Lawrence
Last updated on: August 11, 2005 20:03 IST
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Australia's Shane Warne became the first man to take 600 Test wickets on Thursday playing against England in the third Test at Old Trafford.

The leg spinner, brought on after lunch on the first day, dismissed Marcus Trescothick for 63, caught behind by Adam Gilchrist off an attempted sweep.

The crowd rose immediately to give Warne a standing ovation as his team mates congratulated him. Warne saluted back by holding the ball above his head.

The wicket left England on 163 for two, ending a stand of 137. Michael Vaughan was 76 not out. The ovation continued at the end of the over, with the bowler waving back.

Warne began the series with 583 wickets, taking six in the first Test at Lord's and 10 in the second when England levelled the series at 1-1.

The 35-year-old, who made his debut in 1992, is playing in his 126th Test. His nearest rival, Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka, has 549 wickets from 93 Tests.

The 600th wicket, in the 42nd over of the innings and Warne's fifth, was an unusual one, appearing to hit the left-handed batsman's pad, glove and bat before bouncing up off wicketkeeper Gilchrist's thigh.


Warne has undergone finger and shoulder surgery in recent years but, while spinning the ball less spectacularly, he has continued to thrive.

He has always done well against English batsmen.

Before Old Trafford, he had taken 148 wickets against them at an average of 22.19, compared to a career average of 25.24.

His first ball in his first Ashes match, at Old Trafford in 1993, became known as "The Ball of the Century" when it spun from outside Mike Gatting's leg stump and clipped the off bail.

Warne, feted for revitalising the art of leg spin, has also been involved in a series of controversies. He admitted accepting money from a bookmaker and was banned for 12 months, missing the 2003 World Cup, after testing positive for a diuretic.

He returned, however, with a vengeance. He took 26 wickets at 20.03 runs apiece in three Tests against Sri Lanka and has continued in similar form since.

Gilchrist said after the first Test against England last month that Warne, nicknamed 'Hollywood' because of his liking for publicity, was bowling as well as has ever done.

Warne's wife left him just before the Ashes series following media reports about his private life.

England's George Lohmann was the first to 100 Test wickets, with Alec Bedser and Fred Trueman, also of England, first to 200 and 300. New Zealand's Richard Hadlee was first to 400 and Courtney Walsh of West Indies broke the 500-mark.

List of leading Test wicket takers:

Bowler Country W Tests Best
Shane Warne Australia 600 126* 8-71
Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka 549 93 9-51
Courtney Walsh West Indies 519 132 7-37
Glenn McGrath Australia 509 111* 8-24
Anil Kumble India 461 95 10-74
Kapil Dev India 434 131 9-83
Richard Hadlee New Zealand 431 86 9-52
Wasim Akram Pakistan 414 104 7-119
Curtley Ambrose West Indies 405 98 8-45
Ian Botham England 383 102 8-34

Note: * denotes match in progress

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Tony Lawrence
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