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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 January 2008, 07:55 GMT
Australia beat India in thriller
Second Test, Sydney (day five):
Australia 463 & 401-7d beat India 532 & 210 by 122 runs

Andrew Symonds
Andrew Symonds celebrates the controversial wicket of Dravid

Michael Clarke took three wickets in the penultimate over as Australia beat India by 122 runs to equal their world record of 16 Test victories in a row.

India, led by captain Anil Kumble, looked to have done enough for a draw, before part-time spinner Clarke ripped through the tail in his second over.

Kumble was stranded on 45 off 111 balls as Australia bowled India out for 210 in Sydney to take a 2-0 series lead.

The run of wins matches the 1999-2001 streak under Steve Waugh's captaincy.

Just as importantly, the Aussies somehow did enough to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with two Tests remaining in the series.

The day began with them extending their lead and, with the showers staying away, Ricky Ponting declared slightly later than most observers had predicted, after Michael Hussey had hit a majestic 145.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Oliver Brett

Ponting finally pulled the plug on his team's second innings shortly before lunch with the total on 401-7.

India needed 333 to win, which was never on the cards, but Wasim Jaffer gave Australia an early fillip when he fell to Brett Lee in the first over.

The opener pushed forward uncertainly to a ball just short of a good length and edged to Clarke at third slip.

Soon after lunch, Stuart Clark got Australia's second wicket as he nipped a ball back into VVS Laxman's pads to win an lbw verdict.

Sachin Tendulkar was bowled by Clark off the inside edge six overs later and it was crisis time for the tourists.

The dependable duo of Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly restored some order for the visitors, staying together for more than an hour to take the Test into the final session.

Then umpire Steve Bucknor was involved in another moment of high controversy.

Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke
Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke celebrate at the SCG

Having been roundly castigated for failing to give Andrew Symonds caught behind on day one - the all-rounder went on to hit an unbeaten 162 - he awarded the Australian a tenuous appeal for a catch at the wicket which ended Dravid's innings.

If the decision looked bad enough in real time, replays showed bat and glove firmly tucked behind the batsman's pad, and several inches away from the path of the ball.

It was a vital wicket, as Dravid had seen off 103 deliveries for his 38 runs.

Three balls later, Yuvraj Singh, a shadow of his usual self so far in this series, got a genuine edge to Symonds and Australia were in the ascendancy again.

An extraordinary incident seven overs later added to India's woes, and again there was controversy as Clarke dived forward to claim a catch to end Ganguly's innings on 51.

The umpires, apparently unsighted, accepted Clarke and Ponting's word that the catch was a good one - Ponting even raising his own finger as though giving the batsman out.

Replays were inconclusive as to the catch's validity.

Ganguly had played positively, making 51 off 56 balls, but India were four wickets from defeat and there were still nearly 32 overs remaining.

Another good partnership, this time between Kumble and Mahendra Dhoni, took play into the final hour, before Symonds - having switched from medium pace to off-breaks - struck for the third time.

Adam Gilchrist
Gilchrist celebrates as Tendulkar is bowled by Stuart Clark

Dhoni played no shot to a sharply-spinning off-break and paid the price as he was adjudged lbw.

That left Kumble and Harbhajan Singh together, but time was running out.

With Brad Hogg unable to gain a breakthrough, Ponting's final throw of the dice was to go for a third spinner in Clarke.

Bowling his slow left-armers that had never brought him a Test wicket in Australia, he struck with the first ball of his second over, Harbhajan gloving to slip.

Australia were two wickets from victory and their tails were up again.

Only 11 deliveries remained when India's number 10, RP Singh, came to the crease.

But he could not even defend his first, which pitched in line and straightened - umpire Mark Benson giving him out lbw.

India's last batsman Ishant Sharma safely defended his first two balls but, needing to block two more to leave Kumble on strike for the final over, he edged a wider ball to Hussey at slip and Australia had won a memorable Test match.

Clarke's 11 previous Test wickets had included a spell of 6-9 in a Mumbai Test that Australia lost. But this spell of 3-5 in 11 balls proved more deadly.



SEE ALSO
Harbhajan banned for racist jibe
06 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Ponting hails 'unbelievable' win
06 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Australia equal Test wins record
06 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Australia v India photos
02 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Aussie pair keep Test in balance
05 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Laxman century gives India hope
03 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Symonds leads Australia recovery
02 Jan 08 |  Cricket
India in Australia 2007-08
21 Apr 07 |  Cricket


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