Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 5th day December 18, 2006

Warne and McGrath as good as ever

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The over in which Warne dismissed Flintoff (enlarged image) © Hawk-Eye

Shane Warne and Perth haven't been the best of mates, but on the final day of the third Ashes Test, Warne had plenty of reasons to celebrate, as he finished with 4 for 115, only his second four-wicket haul at this venue - he had taken 4 for 83 against New Zealand in 1997-98.

Landing it unerringly on the good-length spot, Warne was economical - going at only 2.92 per over - and effective. Of the 236 deliveries he bowled, 186 landed on a good length, from which the batsmen managed only 46 runs. Even Kevin Pietersen, who has generally dominated Warne, could only manage 11 from 36 deliveries off him.



Where Glenn McGrath pitched it in England's second innings (enlarged image) © Hawk-Eye
The ball that dismissed Andrew Flintoff demonstrated quite amply the superb form Warne was in. The first four balls of the over were all good-length deliveries, but the fifth one was much fuller, drifted in, beat Flintoff, and then hit off. It was the sixth time Flintoff has fallen to Warne in Tests, at an average of 30.33 per dismissal - only Shaun Pollock has dismissed him more number of times (seven).

While Warne kept probing away, England had little respite from the other, as McGrath and Stuart Clark kept an excellent control over line and length. The second graphic shows the areas where McGrath pitched it - as usual it's a small, densely populated region. Going into the fourth Test at Melbourne, it doesn't look good for England.

Other stats

79.60 - Kevin Pietersen's average after three Tests in this series. The next highest for England, is Paul Collingwood's 69. No other while player has an average of greater than 40 while five Australians average above 50 (three above 100).

206 - England's margin of defeat was their second biggest - in terms of runs - at the WACA after 329-run thrashing in 1995 (excluding innings defeats).

17.25 - Flintoff's average in five innings in this series before his 51 today. His average now stands at 24.

0,0 - Geraint Jones's contribution with the bat to England's cause at Perth. He now averages 10.50 in the 2006 Ashes. His 33 in the second innings at Brisbane was his highest score.