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Warne hits back at England claims he's past it

Written by: Staff
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ADELAIDE, Dec 5 (Reuters) Shane Warne could not resist poking fun at England coach Duncan Fletcher after bowling Australia to a famous victory in the second Ashes test today.

Warne took 4-49 on the last day as England crumbled to all out for 129 then lost by six wickets as Australia raced to their victory target with 19 balls to spare.

Warne bowled unchanged through two sessions in a marathon effort that turned the match around then took a swipe at Fletcher's pre-game jibe that Warne was past his best and England's batsmen no longer feared him.

Warne failed to take a wicket in the first innings of the first test and managed only one in the first innings in Brisbane but picked up four in the second innings of both matches to edge closer to 700 career victims.

''I read the rubbish that Duncan Fletcher said that they were playing me well, but it's obviously a lot different in the first few days of a test match when the wicket's pretty flat,'' Warne told a news conference today.

''Guys like Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood played exceptionally well.

''I thought Kevin Pietersen was the only one that played me well in the first test, but I still feel confident against all their players.'' TURNING POINT Australian captain Ricky Ponting was named man of the match after making 142 and 49 with the bat but said Warne's marathon performance with the ball was the turning point in the match.

''If there's a game on the line you won't get the ball out of his hands,'' Ponting said.

''He just keeps lifting himself up and wants to bowl at the best players and be the man to get those players out. He stood up again today.

''I said to him after the game he's changed the course of this test match and maybe even the summer with that spell of bowling today.'' Warne, the oldest player in the match at 37, admitted he was starting to get tired after bowling 53 overs in the first innings then 32 in the second, but never even considered taking a short break.

''I'm knackered to be honest, so the fingers are pretty sore but when you get that momentum going the adrenalin starts going, I love being in those situations,'' he said.

''I perform better in those situations than others. I find something inside of me that keeps me going. I just wanted to do my role for the team today.

''I knew the conditions were in my favour as a spinner and I had to take the majority of the wickets as a spinner because the conditions demanded that.

''As much as the body was starting to tire, the adrenalin (kicked in) that we were about to achieve, in 140 test matches, the greatest test match I've ever played.'' REUTERS PDS KN1653

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