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How Shane Warne bamboozled England's batting at Lord's
July 24, 2005
A combination of the legbreak, topspinner and the zooter, all bowled with pinpoint accuracy, meant that England's batsmen had few answers to the complex questions that Shane Warne threw up in their second innings. The graphic below offers a fair indication of the way they struggled - the batsmen were beaten, rapped on the pads, or they edged him 20% of the time, that's once every five deliveries.
Amid all the shambles that was the England batting line-up, one batsman shone in both innings, and contributed 36% of the total runs they scored in the match. Kevin Pietersen came into the match after controversially displacing Graham Thorpe, and delivered a performance that completely lived up to the hype.
The most convincing aspect of his display was the manner in which he handled Australia's leading bowlers: in the first innings, Glenn McGrath was in irresistible form, and Pietersen slammed him for 22 from as many balls; in the second, Warne was running rings around England's batsmen, and Pietersen hit him to the tune of 39 from 41 balls. Over both innings, Pietersen scored 121 runs from 168 balls, and it took an extraordinary catch to dismiss him in the only innings in which he got out. Now, if only someone would teach Pietersen how to hang on to a catch.
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ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over the preparation of all 16 Australia players ahead of the first Test, which starts in Dubai on Wednesday