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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 January 2008, 14:09 GMT
Australia equal Test wins record
By Oliver Brett

With a remarkable victory over India in Sydney, completed with seven balls remaining, Australia have equalled their own record run of 16 consecutive Test victories.

Ricky Ponting's side could break the record, which they share with Steve Waugh's 1999-2001 side, in the third Test which starts in Perth on 16 January.

We look back at the winning run, which started at the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, in 2005.

Australia v S Africa, December 2005-January 2006, two wins

Australia were still licking their wounds after an Ashes series defeat in England, and there were signs that cricket's world order was set for a shake-up.

Australia celebrate in Sydney, 2006
The Australian bandwagon was up and running in January 2006

After an unbeaten Jacques Rudolph century earned a draw in the first Test at Perth, South Africa approached the second at the MCG with confidence.

But centuries from Michael Hussey, Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden left South Africa a target of 366 and they were bowled out for 181, Shane Warne taking 4-74.

There was the usual quick turnaround before the Sydney Test, where South Africa made all the running.

The tourists had a 92-run lead on first innings, and a bold declaration on the final morning left a victory target of 287 in 76 overs. It proved too bold as Ponting's 143 off 159 balls gave the Aussies an eight-wicket victory.

South Africa v Australia, March-April 2006, three wins

This series saw the emergence of Stuart Clark, a Glenn McGrath clone whose success was based on the virtues of line and length. He started with nine wickets on debut in a man-of-the-match performance at Newlands.

He took more of a back seat at Durban, where Brett Lee and Warne were the chief enforcers, but it was a second easy win for the Aussies.

The series closed with a classic in Johannesburg as Clark (4-64) helped bowl out South Africa for 258, leaving his side to score 292 to win. It was an awkward target, but Damien Martyn's century got them home by two wickets.

Bangladesh v Australia, April 2006, two wins

The unthinkable almost happened in the cricketing outpost of Fatullah when Australia slumped to 93-6 in reply to the hosts' total of 427.

Adam Gilchrist's 144 restored credibility, and when Bangladesh collapsed in their second innings Australia needed 307 to win.

They just got there, winning by three wickets, and the subsequent Chittagong win was a much more predictable thrashing, although no-one expected an unbeaten double century from Jason Gillespie, batting as a night-watchman.

The Ashes, November 2006-January 2007, five wins

A series that began with a Steve Harmison wide at the Gabba finally ended when Hayden launched Sajid Mahmood for six and followed up with the single to win the Sydney Test by 10 wickets.

Glenn McGrath
Veteran Glenn McGrath took 21 wickets in his final Test series

In between, England had been pulverised, annihilated, and thoroughly embarrassed.

They should have at least avoided losing on a featherbed in Adelaide, but the last day's play was a mad affair of strokeless disintegration and some genius stuff from Warne.

Andrew Symonds, meanwhile, proved he was more than just a one-day blaster with a mature innings of 156 in Melbourne.

Warne, Justin Langer and Glenn McGrath all retired from the Test arena at the end of the series, while Martyn had departed during the series. Could the rest of the cricket world breathe again?

Australia v Sri Lanka, November 2007, two wins

No they could not. Normal service was resumed as Muttiah Muralitharan, who weeks later would again prove such a thorn in England's side, failed to get much change out of Australia's batsmen in this short series.

Lee took eight wickets in the innings victory in Brisbane, and eight more in Hobart. Phil Jaques stepped into Langer's shoes at the top of the order like a seasoned veteran with scores of 100 and 150.

Kumar Sangakkara made 192 in Hobart but was all in vain as Sri Lanka were all out for 410, chasing 507 to win.

Australia v India, December 2007-January 2008, two wins

It took just two days in Melbourne for Australia to seize total control of the first Test, and they sewed up a 337-run victory on day four when new left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson took 3-21 as India collapsed to 161 all out.

An amazing match at Sydney followed, in which West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor was as much of a factor as Michael Clarke's extraordinary feat in the closing stages.

Bucknor made two high-profile and blatant errors, both involving Andrew Symonds, with critical ramifications on the course of the match.

Though Clarke got Australia the three match-winning wickets with the first five balls of the last two overs available, India had some reason to moan after a match tainted by some bad temper from both sides.


Who played in record-equalling run?

Ponting (16 matches) Hayden (16), Hussey (16), Gilchrist (16), Lee (16) Clark (13), Symonds (12), Warne (12), Clarke (11), Langer (9), McGrath (7), Jaques (6), Martyn (6), MacGill (6), Kasprowicz (3), Johnson (4), Hogg (2), Hodge (2), Gillespie (2), Cullen (1).

SEE ALSO
Australia beat India in thriller
06 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Ponting hails 'unbelievable' win
06 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Australia v India photos
02 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Australia scrape to Fatullah win
13 Apr 06 |  Cricket
Aussies complete Ashes whitewash
05 Jan 07 |  England
Aussies record-breaking run ends
15 Mar 01 |  Cricket


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