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Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Australia captain Ricky Ponting sets Test win record

First Test, Melbourne, final day:
Australia 454-5 dec & 225-8 dec bt Pakistan 258 & 251 by 170 runs
Match scorecard


Ricky Ponting
Ponting moves past Steve Waugh's record of Test wins as captain

Ricky Ponting became the most successful captain in Test history as Australia's victory over Pakistan gave him a record 42nd win as skipper.

Australia thrashed Pakistan by 170 runs in the first Test in Melbourne to take Ponting past predecessor Steve Waugh.

Nathan Hauritz claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket to guide Australia home on the final day.

Mitchell Johnson struck twice in the first over before Hauritz took three wickets to dismiss Pakistan for 251.

Ponting's 42 wins came from 65 matches as captain, but the 35-year-old Tasmanian downplayed the achievement, preferring to concentrate on the future rather than look back at the past.

"They're things I'll probably be most proud of when I'm done. We all play to win games of cricket and be involved in a team that is winning games of cricket," he said.

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"Hopefully there are a lot more wins around the corner and if we play the cricket that we've played over this five days then we will definitely win a lot more games."

Shane Watson was named man of the match for his 93 in the first innings and unbeaten 120 - his maiden Test century - in the second, while Johnson's three second-innings victims mean he finishes 2009 with 63 Test wickets.

"It's been a great game for us," Ponting said. "It's one of our best Test wins in quite a while I think."

The Australia captain also praised spinner Hauritz after his sterling efforts on the final day.

"What players like him need is just that breakout performance," said Ponting after Hauritz claimed career-best figures of 5-105.

"Today could be one of the really big turning points in Nathan's career - it will give him a lot of confidence and a lot of self-belief."

Johnson and Hauritz each grabbed two wickets in two balls as Australia dominated the morning session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Pakistan resumed their second innings on 170-3 and Johnson dismissed 19-year-old Umar Akmal for 27 just four balls into the day's play before removing Misbah-ul-Haq next ball, both caught by keeper Brad Haddin.

Pakistan made slow progress from that point before Hauritz struck twice in two balls.

Kamran Akmal (30) was the spinner's first victim of the day when Haddin claimed the stumping as the batsman advanced down the pitch, and next ball Mohammad Aamer was surprised by the bounce and gloved to Simon Katich at short leg.

Abdur Rauf managed to survive the hat-trick ball, swinging wildly over the ring of close fielders, but he was soon bowled by Doug Bollinger for five.

The visitors survived to lunch but Hauritz wrapped things up in the second over after the restart.

Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf was caught by Simon Katich at short leg for 61 and Saeed Ajmal was caught at mid-wicket by Shane Watson for 10 to usher Ponting to the top of the all-time Test captaincy records.

Ponting will be fit for the second Test, in Sydney, despite suffering more pain than expected from his injured elbow in Melbourne.

Australia have named an unchanged 12-man squad, with Clint McKay expected to be 12th man once again.



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see also
Watson maintains Australia charge
28 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Ponting wants improved behaviour
21 Dec 09 |  Australia
Australia wrap up series victory
20 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Benn suspended after altercation
18 Dec 09 |  West Indies
Rain thwarts Kiwis as series tied
15 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Pakistan in Australia 2009-10
05 Feb 10 |  Cricket


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