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   Sunday, 29 December, 2002, 07:12 GMT
Vaughan frustrates Australia
Michael Vaughan
Vaughan put the finishing touches on a great year
4th Test, Melbourne, day four (close): Australia 551-6 dec & 8-0; England 270 & 387

Michael Vaughan capped a wonderful year with an inspirational century to ensure the fourth Test would go the distance in Melbourne.

Australia were set 107 to win after Vaughan's majestic 145, his sixth ton of the year, led England to their best innings of the Ashes.

Vaughan finishes 2002 as the world's leading run-scorer with 1,481 runs, 89 clear of India's Sachin Tendulkar and third-best in history.

The visitors started the day fearing an unprecedented third successive innings defeat.

Stuart MacGill
MacGill's 48 overs yielded five hard-earned wickets
But they finished it with heads held high and dreaming of an Aussie collapse.

Australia safely saw off two overs before stumps and are likely to wrap things up on Sunday, but at last they will know they had a fight.

Well-placed on 326 for five at tea and with Glenn McGrath off the field with back soreness, England entertained genuine thoughts of saving the match.

But the resistance fell apart in the evening with a weary Australian side, who had been in the field for 210 overs after enforcing the follow-on, re-asserting.

The heavily bowled Stuart MacGill recovered from earlier punishment to bag a five-wicket haul, amazingly Australia's first of the Ashes.

Nasser Hussain
Hussain was fooled by McGrath

Vaughan strolled to the crease in the morning with a definite game plan and it worked, racing from 55 to triple figures within the hour.

MacGill opened the bowling for the second day in a row but was treated like a part-timer by Vaughan.

At times he bowled like one, offering full-toss after full-toss, but in truth he was blinded by Vaughan's barrage.

Two of England's best hours on tour yielded 110 runs for the loss of Nasser Hussain, who was outwitted by a Glenn McGrath slower ball that he served back to the bowler.

The dismissal did little to stifle Vaughan, who continued to devour MacGill after the break with 10 runs off two balls including a huge six over long-off.

MacGill then changed his tack to go around the wicket and instantly got his man, Vaughan cutting a ball too straight for the shot and edging to Martin Love in slip.

Rob Key
Key struck his first Test fifty

MacGill was suitably elated, but in reality Vaughan became complacent with his own dominance and sadly gave his wicket away.

England moved into profit soon after Vaughan's dismissal, with Rob Key posting a maiden Test fifty.

Key was impressive after a shaky start, sweeping MacGill better than any of his team-mates and fully deserving his milestone.

But England needed so much more from him, and on 52 he lazily edged the new ball to Ricky Ponting at slip off Jason Gillespie, Australia's best bowler.

John Crawley played on to Gillespie after tea, precipitating a collapse that Australia had been desperately wanting.

White fell to MacGill before another run had been added, and the tail was fully exposed when James Foster was brilliantly caught at slip by Love.

The crowd left at the end was almost exclusively English, and thanks to Vaughan they can return with their chants on the fifth day for the first time this series.

Australia: Steve Waugh (capt), Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Martin Love, Adam Gilchrist, Stuart MacGill, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Glenn McGrath.

England: Nasser Hussain (capt), Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan, Mark Butcher, Robert Key, John Crawley, James Foster, Craig White, Richard Dawson, Andrew Caddick, Steve Harmison.

Umpires: Russell Tiffin, Dave Orchard.

Match referee: Wasim Raja.

 BBC Five Live's Jonathan Agnew
"England showed much more resiliance"
 England batsman Michael Vaughan
"I've played beyond my expectations this year"
 Australia's Stuart MacGill
"I don't normally like to bowl that many overs"
All the reports from the Test match

Day five

Day four

Day three

Day two

Day one


Links to more The Ashes stories are at the foot of the page.

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