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Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - Shane Warne becomes first bowler to pick up 600 test wickets

Australia's Shane Warne celebrates his 600th test wicket by taking England's Marcus Trescothick for 63 runs during the third test of The Ashes series
Australia's Shane Warne celebrates his 600th test wicket by taking England's Marcus Trescothick for 63 runs during the third test of The Ashes series
©Reuters

August 11, 2005 - This was Warne's 126th test match and the leggie played just 18 more matches after this, taking an additional 100+ test wickets.

 

Just like Shane Warne became the first bowler to pick up 700 test wickets and still sits pretty at the second spot in the list of all-time highest wicket takers in test cricket with 708 scalps from 145 test matches, the legendary Australian leg spinner was the first to reach the milestone of 600 test wickets as well.

He achieved it at the Old Trafford in the third test of the 2005 Ashes. Interestingly, it is the same ground on which Warne had delivered the ball of the century to Mike Gatting, dismissing him around the legs to catch the attention of the entire cricketing universe.

The 600th dismissal though was not off a peach like the one that had got Gatting. Rather, it was an untidy dismissal. As Michael Trescothick tried to sweep, the ball took the back of the bat and lobbed in the air. Wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, after failing to pouch it in the first attempt, finally grabbed after juggling it of his thigh and Billy Bowden raised his finger in his typical style.

All of Warne's teammates gathered around him to celebrate the milestone. The man of the moment stood with both hands raised in the air and soaked in the atmosphere.

"600 test match wickets for Shane Warne. What a moment!" said an excited Mark Nicholas on air. The entire ground was up on its feet to laud the achievement of the legendary spinner. This was the appreciation of skill and of personality which knew no national boundaries.

 

 

In the spotlight, Warne kissed a white rubber wristband on his right arm, which was a gift from his eight-year-old daughter Brooke. The wristband had ‘Strength’ written on it. “She said you’ve got to be strong, daddy,” Warne later revealed. “That was my inspiration. Every time I looked at it, it gave me some inspiration.”

Warne was quoted by the BBC saying, “To get to 600, no one has ever done that before and I feel pretty proud of that achievement. To do it at this ground is obviously pretty special as well, and with my parents here to top it off.”

This was Warne's 126th test match and the leggie played just 18 more matches after this, taking more than 100 test wickets. In just the previous match, the second test of the Ashes series at Edgbaston, Warne pocketed figures of 10 for 162 and became the first bowler to take 100 wickets in a single foreign country.

Before this game, Warne had picked up 16 wickets in the first two games of the series at 15.31 with best figures of 6/46. At Edgbaston, he did his stats no harm as he finished with four wickets in the first innings.

However, despite his effort, England posted a 444-run total and took a 100+ lead in the first innings while Australia were bowled out for 302. Shane Warne scored a valuable 90 off 122 deliveries and ensured that the visitors were not pushed out of the match altogether.

Australia were done for all money when they were struggling at 264/7 in the the final innings but Warne came to their rescue once again with an important 34-run knock. Ultimately, Australia's last pair of Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath added 17 runs, more importantly surviving overs overs, as Australia held onto a draw.

 

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