SHANE Warne praised Hampshire's batsmen after a memorable first appearance at Lord's for four years.

Warne was back at the home of cricket for the first time since helping Australia win the second Test of the 2001 Ashes series by eight wickets.

And the record-breaking return to form for Hampshire's batsmen made it one to remember for the county's captain.

He said: "We showed that we've got some dangerous batsman and they've said enough's enough. You can't keep good batsmen down. They were always going to start making runs and I back them every time.

"The batters have got on to some good wickets with some childish boundaries in the last couple of games but Katich and Pietersen are back in form, Crawley's batting well and, as I've said all along, we'll be a very hard side to beat if we make runs.

"The signs are good."

Warne promoted himself to number three following his excellent form with the bat at Canterbury, and made 21 from 14 balls, including one six, after losing the toss.

He added: "On a flat wicket like that with kiddies' boundaries there were always going to be runs. But at the toss it was 50-50 whether to bat or bowl because it was going to be very hard to defend the short boundary.

"Given that we lost the toss and batted I thought we were always going to win the game. One of their players had to make 150 for us to lose it.

"And I was delighted with the energy we showed considering we travelled on the coach for three hours after 120 overs in the field at Canterbury the night before."

Warne, who will be back at Lord's for the first Ashes Test in two months' time, added: "Every time I come here it's special.

"But I've never got a five-for here to get on the honours board so hopefully I can do that in the Test match, but we'll have to wait and see."