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Waugh bows out with battling knock

Waugh said farewell to Test cricket with a battling innings on his home ground in Sydney.
Waugh said farewell to Test cricket with a battling innings on his home ground in Sydney.

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SYDNEY, Australia -- Pugnacious to the last, Australian captain Steve Waugh said farewell to Test cricket with a battling half century as his team drew the final Test Sydney against India.

Waugh was eventually caught on the boundary off Anil Kumble for 80 after sharing a decisive fifth wicket stand of 142 with Simon Katich, who made 77 not out.

It snuffed out India's victory bid and even raised hopes of an improbable Australian win as they chased 443.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet that it's the last time I will be playing for Australia, but not doubt tomorrow morning I'll realise this is it, but I don't feel sad, I feel very happy," Waugh said.

"I've been lucky, everything's gone really well, even today was a great day for Australian cricket, to end the Test match with India placing guys on the boundary means that we got the ascendancy towards the end, so I'm proud of that fact."

Australia briefly appeared to be in danger of losing the match after losing Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden prior to lunch then Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn before tea.

But Waugh, who received a standing ovation on his arrival at the crease and again at the end of the match, came to the rescue.

He batted almost three hours, denying India their first series win in Australia and ensuring himself a heroic farewell.

India's consolation for not pulling off a series victory was holding on to the Border Gavaskar Trophy as winners of the previous series in India in 2001.

But the final day of the fourth Test was all about the 38-year-old Waugh as he gave the cricket world something to remember him by with 15 boundaries in a signature 159-ball knock.

He finished his 168th Test career with 10,927 career runs at an average of 51.06.

Waugh went all out for an emotional century with the overs running out and a draw looking virtually certain.

His batting partner Simon Katich conceded him the strike as the Test great sought what would have been his 33rd Test century.

Upon Waugh's dismissal Adam Gilchrist caused a few heart flutters in the Australian camp when he lasted just three balls before he was stumped for four off Anil Kumble exposing Australia's tail to the last 25 balls.

But Katich and Jason Gillespie saw out play to the draw, the series finishing tied at one Test win apiece.


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