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   Friday, 3 January, 2003, 07:56 GMT
Waugh leads Aussie comeback
The fans loved watching Waugh bat
Will the Sydney faithful ever see Waugh bat again?
Fifth Test, Sydney, day two.
Australia 237-5; England 362

A breathtaking innings of 102 not out by Australia captain Steve Waugh gave the Sydney crowd a day to remember as England's advantage was all but wiped out.

Waugh joined all-time great Sir Don Bradman on 29 Test centuries in what may, ironically, be his final appearance for his country.

England fast bowlers Andrew Caddick and Steve Harmison had reduced to Australia to 150-5 - still more than 200 runs behind the tourists' first innings effort.

But Waugh, who by then was already on song, was then joined by the ebullient Adam Gilchrist in a rousing unbroken partnership of 87 late in the day.

At the start of the day, Alec Stewart had hit 71 to take England up to a respectable score, though the tail typically failed to wag.

Stewart and Crawley added a vital 92 for the sixth wicket.

Leading run-scorers in Test match history
Allan Border (Australia) 11,174
Sunil Gavaskar (India) 10,122
Steve Waugh
(Australia) 10,033
Waugh to resume batting on Saturday
Graham Gooch (England) 8,900
Javed Miandad (Pakistan) 8,832
Sachin Tendulkar (India) 8,811
Viv Richards (West Indies) 8,540
David Gower (England) 8,231
Alec Stewart
(England) 8,149
Stewart has overtaken Boycott in this match
Geoff Boycott (England) 8,114

The Surrey veteran's innings was of vintage extraction, his timing immaculate as he drove and pulled at will.

In the process he went ninth in the all-time list of Test batsmen, and third amongst Englishmen.

But little did he know that his innings would be eclipsed by another old stager later in the day.

Stewart was finally out attempting one shot too many as Andy Bichel bowled the Surrey man off his pads.

In Bichel's following over, he removed Dawson and Stuart MacGill removed the tail with little effort.

Crawley took more than three-and-a-half hours to finish on an unbeaten 35, missing out on numerous scoring opportunities.

Waugh, meanwhile, reached his century off the last ball of the day, driving spinner Richard Dawson for four. Earlier he had become the third man to hit 10,000 runs in Tests.

Vice-captain Gilchrist, who hit a stunning 45 off 46 balls, had run a single off the penultimate delivery of the day to give Waugh the strike.

Alec Stewart
Stewart was in superb form early in the day
Then Caddick, bowling with the same fire and skill which he had produced at the MCG, dismissed Aussie top order batsmen Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer.

Caddick first struck when the prolific Hayden inexplicably missed a full toss to be out lbw.

Ponting made just seven before snicking a shorter ball to Stewart while Langer flirted with danger before miscuing a pull to fine leg where Matthew Hoggard took a fine catch.

While Damien Martyn was at the wicket with Waugh, things looked better for Australia.

But then Harmison got in on the act by ending Martyn's innings when the right-hander pulled straight to midwicket.

And when the Durham paceman then had Martin Love caught at slip for a duck England were suddenly sitting pretty.

But Waugh and Gilchrist clearly had other ideas, as England's attack finally looked somewhat threadbare.


Australia: SR Waugh (capt), JL Langer, ML Hayden, RT Ponting, DR Martyn, ML Love, AC Gilchrist (wkt), SCG MacGill, JN Gillespie, AJ Bichel, B Lee.

England: N Hussain (capt), ME Trescothick , MP Vaughan, MA Butcher, JP Crawley, RWT Key, AJ Stewart (wkt), J Foster (wkt), AR Caddick, MJ Hoggard, SJ Harmison, RKJ Dawson.

Umpires: DL Orchard (SA) & RB Tiffin (Zim)

3rd Umpire: S Taufel

Match referee: Wasim Raja (Pak)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 Australian captain Steve Waugh
"Today was pretty close to as good as I can play"
 BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
"One of the most remarkable dramas in modern sport"
 England keeper Alec Stewart
"The bloke's a fantastic cricketer"

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