SHANE WARNE has, on many occasions, provided the bowling ammunition which has led Australia to victory, but he showed his ability with the bat, as he hit his highest Test score of 86 against Pakistan here yesterday.
The score helped Australia to a huge total of 575 and a first-innings lead of 208 after the fourth day of the opening Test in the three-match series. When rain ended play early, Pakistan had reached 223 for 4 in their second innings, for an overall lead of 15.
Warne and Scott Muller put on 86 for the last wicket, an Australian record against Pakistan, with Muller contributing just six to the stand. On a tame pitch, Warne set about the pace attack of Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar and was particularly contemptuous of his fellow leg-spinner, Mushtaq Ahmed, belting three sixes off Mushtaq's first over and then another six and a four off his next. With two singles to keep the strike, he had taken 30 runs off two overs.
Warne said his downfall came after he began to entertain thoughts of a century. "I got away with couple and once I got to 86, at the end of that over when Wasim [Akram] started, I thought should I just try and maybe knock them around here. I wasn't quite sure what to do," Warne said.
In the end his mistimed the first ball of Wasim's 32nd over, and Mushtaq, extracting some minor revenge, caught him. Warne had hit nine fours and four sixes.
Pakistan's second innings was bolstered by an unbeaten 118 from their opener, Saeed Anwar, who had kind words for Warne, the Australian having called for adjudication from the third umpire when many in the ground thought he had made a slip catch which would have dismissed Saeed while on 12.
It transpired the ball had not carried, and Saeed said: "That was good from Shane Warne, and I think this is what sport needs. I think it's a really good gesture and I thank Shane for it. He did the right thing."
Fourth day of five; Australia won toss
PAKISTAN - First Innings 367 (Saeed 61, Inzamam 88, Yousuf 95, Moin 61).
AUSTRALIA - First Innings
(Overnight: 515 for 9)
S K Warne c Mushtaq b Wasim 86
S A Muller not out 6
Extras (b3, lb12, nb26) 41
Total (139.1 overs) 575
Bowling: Wasim 31.1-6-87-2; Shoaib 32-2-153-4; Abdur 17-3-66-0; Azhar 19-2-52-1; Mushtaq 38-3-194-3; Ijaz 2-0-8-0.
PAKISTAN - Second Innings
Saeed Anwar not out 118
Mohammad Wasim lbw b Fleming 0
Ijaz Ahmed c Gilchrist b McGrath 5
Inzamam-ul-Haq c Ponting b Fleming 12
Yousuf Youhana c M Waugh b Muller 75
Abdur Razzaq not out 2
Extras (2b, 6lb, 3nb) 11
Total (for 4, 53 overs) 223
Fall: 1-3, 2-8, 3-37, 4-214
To bat: Moin Khan, Azhar Mahmood, *Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed, Shoaib Akhtar.
Bowling: McGrath 14-4-56-1; Fleming 11-2-47-2; Muller 10-1-55-1; Warne 14-4-45-0; Ponting 4-0-12-0.
Umpires: D J Harper and E A Nicholls.Reuse content