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Watch: When Shane Warne Bamboozled Mike Gatting With Ball of the Century

Shane Warne's delivery to Mike Gatting in 1993 in Old Trafford was his first ball in Ashes cricket.

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Australian cricketing great and one of the best bowlers the world has seen, Shane Warne breathed his last on Friday in Thailand, aged 52. The flamboyant bowler, who terrorised batters from all parts of the world, announced his entry into cricket’s most storied rivalry, Ashes, in a manner that is uniquely Warne.

So what happened that day in the Ashes?

On a Saturday afternoon, in Old Trafford, in 1993, a young Shane Warne bowled his first delivery in Ashes cricket, one that would later be known as the ‘Ball of the Century’. As Australia’s lone spinner, he came on to bowl with the score at 80/1 with Mike Gatting on strike.

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The blond-haired magician, paused at the top of his mark like he always did, a few steps later, out came the hard-spun leg-break over the right shoulder and drifted outside leg stump from middle-leg, seemingly harmlessly, before turning sharply, beating Gatting’s outside edge and hitting the top of off-stump. Gatting, a good player of spin was left stunned, took a few moments to realise what had happened.

Warne had since said that he “just wanted to get myself into the game” at Old Trafford.

12 years later, in Edgbaston, in what was possibly one of the most keenly contested Ashes series, Warne knocked over Andrew Strauss in an eerily similar manner. Only Gatting was right-handed while Strauss was a left-handed batter.

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The ball was pitched well outside off (6th stump), Strauss tried to block the ball away with his leg since he assumed it would impact well outside the off stump. But it spun, by about a yard, and went past him to crash into his leg stump. And while it was not called the ‘Ball of the Century’, it was definitely up there. Warne finished with figures of 6/46 in that innings.

Warne would go on to pick 40 wickets in that series, the highest on either side. England won the series 2-1.

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Topics:  Shane Warne   Shane Warne Dies 

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