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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 02:04 GMT
Aussies back in business
Third Test, Melbourne, day five
Australia 558 & 97 beat India 366 & 286 by nine wickets

Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting celebrate after securing victory
Hayden and Ponting clinched victory
Australia have levelled their home series against India at 1-1 with a nine-wicket win in the third Test at Melbourne.

Set just 95 to win, they knocked off the runs in 22.2 overs with Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting sharing an unbroken stand of 88.

Hayden finished on 53 and Ponting followed up his first innings double century with 31 not out.

The final and deciding match of the series, Steve Waugh's last in Test cricket, starts in Sydney on 2 January.

India needed early wickets with the new ball, but managed only one as Ajit Agarkar dismissed Justin Langer for the fifth time in the series.

Langer had made only two when he was beaten by an inswinging delivery of full length and given out lbw after a lengthy deliberation by umpire Billy Bowden.

I was always going to get back out there at some stage, but I didn't know whether I would make it to Sydney
Steve Waugh
Hayden survived a confident lbw shout from Ashish Nehra in the next over, but apart from a false stroke which brought him four off the outside edge from the bowling of spinner Anil Kumble, he batted with assurance.

The left-hander collected nine boundaries in total, including two in Kumble's next over which carried him to a 62-ball half century.

It was fitting, however, that the last rites should be administered by Ponting, whose brilliant 257 on days two and three had put Australia in control of the match.

He would have been run out on 11 had Sachin Tendulkar's throw from cover hit the stumps at the bowler's end as he attempted a risky single.

But that was India's final chance and Ponting duly hit the winning runs by sweeping Kumble fine for four.

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


Jim Maxwell reports fro BBC Sport
"It was a spirited comeback by Australia"

Australia captain Steve Waugh
"It was an outstanding win"

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