Vol. 5 Num 652 Wed. March 29, 2006  

Six-shooter Warne leads Australia to series victory

Shane Warne grabbed six wickets to spearhead Australia to an unbeatable 2-0 series victory over South Africa on Tuesday.

Leg-spinner Warne claimed six for 86 as Australia won the second test by 112 runs.

The visitors won the first match in the three-test series by seven wickets in Cape Town. The final test starts in Johannesburg on Friday.

South Africa, who were set a target of 410, were dismissed for 297 with less than eight overs left in the match.

Mark Boucher fought hard for his undefeated 51.

Warne, who began his first spell unchanged from the 16th over before lunch until an hour after tea, bowled to a field that at times featured a silly mid-off, silly point, two slips, a leg slip and a forward short leg.

However, before Warne came into the attack in the 18th over of the day, South Africa seemed to have a reasonable chance of saving the match.

De Villiers (46) and captain Smith (40) put together South Africa's best opening partnership in five Tests against Australia before Warne struck twice in ten balls.

The pair put on 91 and were looking comfortable when acting captain Adam Gilchrist brought Warne on. De Villiers stretched forward to Warne's fourth ball, lost his balance and Gilchrist made a smart stumping.

Warne made a second breakthrough when Smith played a sweep shot and the ball looped to Justin Langer at leg slip. Smith was given out by umpire Steve Bucknor although replays suggested the ball had come off his left forearm.

Warne had first innings century-maker Jacques Kallis leg before when Kallis missed a sweep and in the next over he held a simple catch at first slip when a lifting delivery from Stuart Clark was deflected off the splice of Gibbs' bat.

Vice-captain Gilchrist led Australia in the field in the absence of captain Ricky Ponting, who had food poisoning which a team spokesman said had kept him up until 4am.

The weather was cloudy but no floodlights were switched on in contrast to Monday when the lights were on for most of the day.

Clark took a second wicket, again with a short ball, when Ashwell Prince ducked a bouncer and the ball looped to midwicket off the handle of his bat.

Jacques Rudolph made a solid 36 before he was caught at silly mid-off off Warne and Shaun Pollock was beaten for pace and bowled by Brett Lee.

Australia's spin-wizard Shane Warne (C) and teammates appeal successfully against South Africa batsman Jacques Kallis during the fifth day of the second Test at Kingsmead in Durban on Tuesday. PHOTO: AFP