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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 07:51 GMT
Warne landmark as England crumble

By Paresh Soni

Shane Warne celebrates his 700th Test wicket
Warne provided another memorable moment in a glittering career
Shane Warne took his 700th Test wicket as Australia skittled England for 159 on day one of the fourth Ashes Test.

Leg-spinner Warne bowled Andrew Strauss (50) to reach the mark and also removed Kevin Pietersen (21) to return 5-39.

Pacemen Brett Lee and Stuart Clark took two wickets each, and Glenn McGrath had his 150th Ashes victim, as the tourists struggled after winning the toss.

Andrew Flintoff dismissed Justin Langer and Lee with successive balls but the Aussies still closed on top on 48-2.

The home side dropped two catches and Adam Gilchrist missed an easy chance to stump Pietersen off Warne when he was on four but no blame could be attached to their bowlers.

To do it here in Melbourne ... I don't know who is writing my scripts but they're pretty good

Shane Warne

Under heavy cloud cover at the MCG they gave England a thorough going over right from the start.

In the 15.4 overs possible between rain showers in the morning, the tourists were relieved to see only Alastair Cook back in the pavilion.

A Lee delivery caught the toe-end of his bat as he attempted to leave it.

But there was no let-up in the afternoon as Clark jagged one back in to have Ian Bell plumb lbw and Paul Collingwood (28) could have been out on several occasions during a torrid examination.

Umpire Rudi Koertzen gave him the benefit of the doubt against strong leg-before appeals from McGrath and Andrew Symonds, while Gilchrist could not hold on when the tall paceman found the edge.

Andrew Flintoff celebrates
Flintoff struck with successive balls late in the day

Strauss should have been on his way for 41 when Matthew Hayden spilled an easy chance at gully off Clark but his courage brought his eighth Test fifty off 130 balls.

A Melbourne crowd of around 90,000 reserved their biggest cheer of the day for the moment when arguably their most famous sporting son was finally brought on after 40 overs.

His start was far from auspicious and Collingwood, growing in confidence, swept him for four as England went past 100.

Lee ended the Durham man's charmed resistance with some extra bounce and away movement, Ponting holding on well at second slip, before Warne struck gold.

It was not his greatest ball ever, and the dismissal owed a fair deal to poor footwork from Strauss.

Brisbane Rick

A superb catch at short extra-cover from Ponting handed Warne his next wicket when Chris Read - recalled in favour of Geraint Jones - drove hard, while Steve Harmison and Monty Panesar thrashed straight to mid-on.

In between that Pietersen was snaffled by Symonds attempting a big heave off Warne and McGrath, also in the last throes of a glittering career, achieved his own landmark when Sajid Mahmood lazily drove outside off-stump.

Flintoff landed some blows for England late in the piece by having Langer and Lee caught behind but his side had been pummelled yet again on Boxing Day.

Strauss defends decision to bat
26 Dec 06 |  England


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