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Shane Warne- The first glimpse of a Class Bowler

Shane Warne; regarded as one of the greatest leg spinner played his first test against Sri Lanka on 22nd Aug 1992 and gave the first glimpses of his greatness that would change the world cricket forever.

Last updated: 22.08.2019
Shane Warne-The first glimpse of a Class Bowler | Sports Social Blog

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22nd August 1992. The day when a blond, chubby leg spinner gave the first glimpses of his greatness that would change the world cricket forever within a year or so. It happened at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo- the venue for the first test during Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka won the toss and put Australia to bat on day one. Sri Lankan seam bowlers Chandika Hathurusingha (4/66), Champaka Ramanayake (3/51) and Pramodya Wickramasinghe (2/69) ensured that Australians were all out within day one for 256 runs with only Healy reaching a fifty.

In response, Sri Lanka batted 170 overs in their first innings with 547/8 declared. Three Sri Lankan Batsmen, Asanka Gurusinha (137), the captain Arjuna Ranatunga (127), and the debutant wicketkeeper Romesh Kaluwitharana (132*) scored centuries as Australian bowlers toiled hard. The off-spinner Greg Matthews was the most successful bowler with 3/93 whereas the leg spinner, Shane Warne, playing his third test went wicketless despite bowling for 22 overs granting 107 runs.


After conceding a lead of nearly 300 runs the Australians batted with more application in the second innings. In one of the rare instances in test cricket, all the 11 Australian players reached double-figure but no one went on to score a century. David Boon top scored with 68 and there were three more fifties in the innings as they posted 471 and batted till post-lunch session on day five, 22nd August.

Sri Lanka’s target was 181 runs. They had less than two sessions to survive or go for the victory. They started strongly as the openers Roshan Mahanama and Hathurusingha added 76 runs for the first wicket. They lost both openers quickly and went to tea on the final day at 79/2 requiring another 102 runs. Post tea Gurusinha and Aravinda de Silva added 48 runs and brought down the target to 54 before Craig McDermott got the breakthrough by dismissing de Silva. This triggered a collapse as Sri Lanka lost three more wickets within next 10 runs. Ranatunga was scalped by McDermott and Matthews picked up Atapattu and Kaluwitharana.

When Sri Lanka lost Ramanayake on 147, they still required 34 runs for a victory whereas Australia required three wickets. After a few overs with 31 runs to defend Australian captain Allan Border introduced Warne first time in the second innings. Warne went bowling a spell of 5.1 overs for 11 runs and picked up all the remaining three wickets to give Australia a memorable test victory for 17 runs. 

As per Warne’s own version, those three wickets at the dying stage of the match gave him the confidence and the belief that he belonged to this level. Within a year he started to deliver match-winning performance for Australia and finally ended with 708 test wickets.

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