Warne breaks 700-wicket barrier in fourth Ashes Test
December 26, 2006 2:32am CST
Shane Warne captured his 700th Test wicket on the opening day of the fourth Ashes cricket Test against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The master Australian leg-spinner bowled England opener Andrew Strauss with a leg-break with the second ball of his fourth over to trigger a huge roar from the near-capacity crowd. Strauss had reached his first half-century of the series but was befuddled by the delivery, which knocked over his middle stump. Warne, 37, is playing in his penultimate Test match after announcing last week that he was retiring from Test cricket after next week's fifth Sydney Test. Warne is also playing in his 144th Test match and has an average of 25.48 runs per wicket. West Indian batting great Brian Lara, who had many batting duels with Warne, was in the 89,155 crowd to watch Warne create history."He's not only someone for Australian cricket, but someone for world cricket," Lara told national radio."I was very surprised to hear that Warne was retiring, he's younger than me and I feel he has a couple more years of cricket left in him."He knows everything, he continued to grow in confidence when you played him and he could bowl the unplayable ball, he always seemed to have something up his sleeve."Warne captured Lara's wicket seven times in Test cricket. The Australian team surrounded Warne and individually congratulated him before captain Ricky Ponting gave him the ball to raise to the delighted home-town crowd in recognition of becoming the first bowler in Test history to pass 700 wickets. Warne later claimed his 701st Test wicket and second for the innings when he had wicketkeeper Chris Read caught by Ricky Ponting for three.