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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 December, 2003, 08:07 GMT
Ponting calls the shots
Third Test, Melbourne, day three (close): India 366 & 27-2 v Australia 558

Australia's Ricky Ponting
Australia took control of the third Test against India thanks to a double century from Ricky Ponting.

The 29-year-old made a career-best 257 as his side opened up a first-innings lead of 192 at the MCG.

Australia, who trail 1-0 in the four-Test series, then took two wickets before the close of play to leave India on 27-2, still 165 runs adrift.

It was Ponting's second double-ton in consecutive Tests, making him only the fifth batsman to achieve that feat.

His epic knock capped a miraculous 12 months for the future Test skipper of Australia.

Sir Vivian Richards (WI): 1,710 from 11 Tests in 1976
Sunil Gavaskar (Ind): 1,555 from 18 Tests in 1979
Michael Vaughan (Eng): 1,480 from 14 Tests in 2002
Ricky Ponting (Aus): 1,472 from 11 Tests in 2003
Sachin Tendulkar (Ind): 1,392 from 16 Tests in 2002
Matthew Hayden (Aus): 1,391 from 14 Tests in 2001

It took his 2003 tally to 1,472 runs, passing Matthew Hayden's 2001 haul of 1,391 as the most by an Australian in a calendar year.

It was also the the fourth-highest number of runs scored in a year in Test cricket.

After resuming on 317-3, Australia lost Damien Martyn in the opening session, caught behind by Parthiv Patel off Agit Agarkar for 31.

Australia skipper Steve Waugh quickly followed Martyn back to the pavilion after being struck on the elbow by a ball from Agarkar.

Simon Katich took over and put on 64 for the fifth wicket with Ponting before falling to a bat-pad catch by Akash Chopra off Anil Kumble for 29.

Steve Waugh is struck after being at the crease for just two balls
My expectation is that Waugh (above) will be able to take part in this game and play in Sydney
Team doctor Trefor James

Waugh returned to the crease to put on 65, batting through great pain and often removing the top hand off his bat after playing a shot, before being trapped lbw by Kumble for 19.

Team doctor Trefor James said Waugh's injury was soft-tissue bruising and he had been cleared of any fractures.

After Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken had both been dismissed, Ponting's marathon innings finally ended when he was easily stumped by Patel off Kumble, who finished with six wickets.

Australia's innings closed when Stuart MacGill was bowled for a first-ball duck by Agarkar.

There was more joy for the home side when India 's second innings began.

Akash Chopra was harshly given out caught behind off the bowling of Bracken for four when TV replays suggested the ball had flicked his pad.

Then Virender Sehwag, who hit 195 in the first innings, hit a Lee delivery straight to Brad Williams at mid-wicket.

Australia: Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Steve Waugh (captain), Simon Katich, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Brad Williams, Nathan Bracken, Stuart MacGill.

India: Akash Chopra, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly (captain), V.V.S. Laxman, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, Ashish Nehra.

Links to more Aus v Ind stories


Australia's Ricky Ponting
"I'm happy with the way things are going"

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