Cricket: Warne overshadowed

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The Independent Online
GOOD news for England. Shane Warne is not yet back to his lethal best. The blond leg-spinner made his long-awaited return to first- class cricket when he bowled 10 overs for Victoria in a Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia in Perth yesterday but failed to take a wicket.

Despite spinning the ball sharply, Warne had no luck, and conceded 46 runs in his spell as Simon Katich proved as much a thorn in Warne's side as he was in England's recently, scoring an unbeaten 120, his third century of the season. Warne, who did at least take two catches for the day, brought himself into the attack shortly before lunch, but made little impression and conceded 19 runs off his first four overs. He bowled one more over before the tea break and had another five-over spell, his longest, in the final session.

In fact, Warne was overshadowed by Paul Reiffel, who took advantage of the conditions to take 4 for 68 and give the national selectors a timely nudge.

Another Australian scourge of English batsmen, Glenn McGrath, stoked up the pre-series hype a notch or two by declaring his intention to pass the landmark of 200 Test wickets during the series. The opening bowler currently has 178.