(Reuters) – England fans obviously did not learn when they taunted former Australia legspinner Shane Warne for eating all the pies, with a jibe at fast bowler Mitchell Starc helping fire him up to destroy England at the Cricket World Cup.
Starc took 4-43 as Australia cruised to a 64-run victory at Lord’s on Tuesday to qualify for the semi-finals and leave the hosts’ chances of making the last four precarious.
The 29-year-old’s wife Alyssa Healy sparked a flurry of interest in Starc’s performance after she applauded an England fan for inspiring the tall quick before the match.
“High fives to the English bloke who fired up Mitch with some banter at breaky…onya legend,” Healy, the Australian women’s team wicketkeeper, wrote on her Twitter feed.
Starc was surprised to be questioned about the breakfast banter after he and fellow seamer Jason Behrendorff took nine wickets between them but he obligingly served up a few details.
“Someone was having a go at my strapping tape and me eating too much and how it was going to affect my bowling,” Starc told reporters of a breakfast that included three poached eggs.
“I was just hungry.”
Starc told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper that he accepted it was all “good fun”.
“I was still half-asleep I think. I still had two hours before we were starting warm-ups.”
England’s Barmy Army fans routinely taunted Warne about his weight and broke into chants of “Who ate all the pies?” during matches against Australia.
It had little effect. Warne took 195 of his 708 test wickets against England, and recorded his best bowling in an innings of 8-71 in an Ashes test in Brisbane in 1994.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Ian Ransom)