Aus should never ever ever have won this test. A dodgey call to give Strauss out. 5-0?
Cricket: Warne delivers the killer blow
Wednesday December 6, 2006
ADELAIDE - The world’s greatest wicket taker inspired Australia to a remarkable victory at the Adelaide Oval last night.
The home side hold a commanding 2-0 series lead after scoring 168 for four in the final innings.
Mike Hussey (not out 61) and Michael Clarke (not out 21) got Australia home but it was Shane Warne who produced the masterstrokes.
Given an inch by Steve Bucknor and Kevin Pietersen, Warne predictably took a mile.
His relentless, unchanged spell of 26-11-29-4, giving him 4-49 for the innings, was the catalyst for England’s inexplicable collapse from 59 for one overnight to 129 all out, with a little bit of help from two men who had previously been unkind to Warne in this match.
First, umpire Bucknor let his guard down long enough to allow Warne to convince him that Andrew Strauss’ bat or glove, as well as his pad, had deflected a catch to short leg.
Warne was unable to win a single appeal from Bucknor or Rudi Koertzen in the first innings, but his standing as an expert in the dark art of umpire persuasion was confirmed by television.
Replays showed the ball was nowhere near either, leaving Strauss to shake his head and Warne to reason that his luck was in.
That feeling would have been strengthened by the wicket of Ian Bell, run out in the sort of mix-up that should never happen in tests but does so nonetheless.
Bell’s departure brought Kevin Pietersen to the wicket, a man acknowledged as Warne’s master after his first-innings 158.
Pietersen had boasted previously that he could never imagine being bowled around his legs by Warne, given that he has made a habit of avoiding the sweep to deliveries pitched into the rough outside his leg stump.
But yesterday Pietersen decided for one moment that he would try it, and then looked around in disbelief to find he had been bowled behind his pads by a ball that turned almost square to strike his off stump.
Celebrations of the wicket were prolonged and pointed, as the Australians knew from painful experience - in the fifth test at the Oval last year - that Pietersen was the one Englishman capable of killing off their charge with sustained quick runs.
After that, Warne and the Australians were insatiable, as Ashley Giles and Matthew Hoggard both discovered when they were also mystified by deliveries loaded with spin.
“We all thought if we get two or three in a row we might just put them under pressure,” Warne said.
"I think we wanted to get a few of them out, and actually bowl them out, whether it took us all day to do that, but just to let them know that, hang on, we’re still about here, we still believe we can get you out.
“Those run outs, they’re just like a needless thing to lose a wicket, some of that gave us a bit of momentum, then Pietersen out straight away.”
Australian captain Ricky Ponting called it “the best test win I’ve ever been a part of”.
England can still square or even win the five-match series and retain the Ashes, but it will be a huge task to regroup after this devastating defeat.
They enjoyed four strong days, but their disastrous final day will be a massive setback. No side has ever lost after making so many runs and declaring in the first innings of a test.
England captain Andrew Flintoff said his team had paid a heavy price for a poor session.
"We’ve played a lot of good cricket in this test match apart from an hour today when we let it slip, and it just shows it can cost you.
“You have a bad hour and you are out of the test match. That’s exactly what’s happened.”
First innings 551 for 6 decl
Second innings (overnight 59-1)
A. Strauss c Hussey b Warne 34
A. Cook c Gilchrist b Clark 9
I. Bell run out (Clarke/Warne) 26
P. Collingwood not out 22
K. Pietersen b Warne 2
A. Flintoff c Gilchrist b Lee 2
G. Jones c Hayden b Lee 10
A. Giles c Hayden b Warne 0
M. Hoggard b Warne 4
S. Harmison lbw b McGrath 8
J. Anderson lbw b McGrath 1
Extras (3b, 5lb, 1w, 2nb) 11
–Total (73 overs) 129
Fall: 1/31, 2/69, 3/70, 4/73, 5/77, 6/94, 7/97, 8/105, 9/119.
Bowling: Lee 18-3-35-2 (2nb), McGrath 10-6-15-2 (1w), Warne 32-12-49-4, Clark 13-4-22-1
First innings 513
J. Langer c Bell b Hoggard 7
M. Hayden c Collingwood b Flintoff 18
R. Ponting c Strauss b Giles 49
M. Hussey not out 61
D. Martyn c Strauss b Flintoff 5
M. Clarke not out 21
Extras (2b, 2lb, 1w, 2nb) 7
–Total (for 4 wkts, 32.5 overs) 168
Fall: 1/14 2/33 3/116 4/121.
Bowling: Hoggard 4-0-29-1, Flintoff 9-0-44-2 (2nb), Giles 10-0-46-1, Harmison 4-0-15-0 (1w), Anderson 3.5-0-23-0, Pietersen 2-0-7-0.