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Warne takes 5-152 on comeback

by Greg Buckle

MELBOURNE, Thursday (Reuters)

Shane Warne completed his comeback from a 12-month drugs ban as a loser on Thursday, taking match figures of five for 152 for Victoria against Queensland in a second XI match.

The Australia leg spinner struggled to contain the scoring rate as he took three for 120 from 19.5 overs in Queensland's second innings of 306 for seven from 57.5 overs.

Nathan Hauritz (54 not out) hit Warne for a six and a single from the fourth and fifth balls of the final over as the visitors won by three wickets with one delivery to spare.

Australia's leading wicket-taker with 491 test victims, a slim-looking Warne dropped a caught-and-bowled chance, had two other chances go down in the field and was hit for five sixes.

Victoria second XI captain Peter Roach told a news conference Warne had bowled his full range of deliveries and felt no soreness from the first innings. "We asked him if he wanted to keep bowling and he said he did," Roach said.

"He's happy with the way he came through."

One of Wisden's five cricketers of the 20th century, Warne was banned in February last year after testing positive for a diuretic, normally used to aid weight loss but which can be used to mask other drugs, in the sport's biggest doping scandal.

The 34-year-old missed the opening day of the four-day second XI match at Melbourne's Junction Oval because his suspension did not end until Tuesday but the rules were bent to allow him to play.

He will have two matches for Victoria's first team against Tasmania, a one-dayer on Saturday and a four-day game starting on Monday, to try to impress Australia's selectors before the squad for the Sri Lanka test tour is announced on February 20.

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