Second Test not a lost cause yet: Warne

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:54 IST

Shane Warne had all night to think up ways of conjuring another match-winning performance for Australia, and a potential two days to produce it.

Second Test not a lost cause yet: Warne

Birmingham:

Shane Warne had all night to think up ways of conjuring another match-winning performance for Australia, and a potential two days to produce it. Only it'll have to be with a bat in hand, instead of the ball this time. And the odds are stacked heavily against him. Despite taking 6-46 in an unchanged 23-over stint - the best Test bowling by an Australian at Edgbaston - to restrict England's second innings to 182 and its overall lead to 281, Warne was overshadowed Saturday by Andrew Flintoff. The England all-rounder scored a well-composed 73 and snared three vital wickets to take England within two dismissals of a series-leveling win. In dire state Australia's position was dire at the end of day three in the second Test, eight wickets down and still needing 107 runs to beat England. Michael Clarke, the last of the recognized batsmen, was bowled for 30 by Steve Harmison with the last ball of the evening, a cleverly conceived slower ball that beat his defenses. Warne remained unbeaten on 20 and had only tailenders Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz to bat with on Sunday. The 35-year-old leg-spinner was surprisingly optimistic about his prospects. "It's backs to the wall. At the moment, they are in a very good position - they'd like to think they can win, but we'll fight all the way down,'' said Warne. "Brett Lee can bat a bit. Kasper is probably due - that's one to put it - to get a few.'' Caution required Warne, who has 10 Test half centuries and a highest score of 99, took an outrageous swipe against Ashley Giles and was out for 8 in his first dig here at a time when Australia's innings needed him to bat responsibly. His plans for day for entailed a bit more caution. Lee averages just under 20 in Test cricket and Kasprowicz scores at a shade over 10 per innings. Coming into the test, Warne's average was 16.33 in 171 innings. Already the record-holder for most Test wickets, Warne improved his career total to 599 at Edgbaston with his ninth 10-wicket haul. In his parlance, Warne doesn't say die. "I hate losing. I'll be trying to fight as much as I can and whatever happens, happens,'' said Warne. "If England wins I'll shake their hands and say 'I'll see you at Old Trafford.''' The third Test starts on August 11 at Manchester. (AP)

Topics : Cricket Shane Warne
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