Waugh signs off in trademark style

Steve Waugh brought the curtains down on his illustrious career with a tenacious 80 to thwart India's quest for a historic in the four-match Test series.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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Steve Waugh brought the curtains down on his illustrious career with a tenacious 80 to thwart India's quest for a historic win as the four-match Test series ended in a 1-1 draw today. Needing 433 runs for a victory on an overcast last day, the world champions were in a spot of bother after losing their top four batsmen before the tea break but Waugh shattered Indian hopes with a typical salvage job to take his team to safety. First innings centurion Simon Katich (77 not out) proved to be the perfect ally for the retiring captain as the duo stitched a vital 142-run partnership to take Australia to 357 for six at close on an exciting last day's play. The drawn series means Indian retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, a creditable achievement for Sourav Ganguly and his men who posed a serious challenge to Australia's cricketing might in their own backyard and spoil Waugh's farewell party. Missed chance Although the Indians managed to remove Matthew Hayden (30), Justin Langer (47), Damien Martyn (40) and Ricky Ponting (47) on a fifth-day track which saw the odd ball lifting sharply, Waugh and Katich dropped anchor to stave off the threat of a rare home series defeat. The visitors then raised a flicker of hope by dismissing Waugh and Gilchrist in quick succession in the fag end but it came a little too late in the day as Katich and Jason Gillespie fended off the remaining four overs. It was a disappointing result for the Indians who enjoyed an upper hand right throughout the absorbing series-deciding Test but lacked the sting to tilt the balance in their favour in the last two sessions. Skipper to the last Waugh smashed 80 in 175 nerve-wracking minutes before his mighty heave off Anil Kumble fell in the hands of Sachin Tendulkar in the square-leg boundary. With little left in the game, Waugh pursued a record 33rd Test hundred but it was not to be. He ended his career with 10,927 runs at an average of 51.06 from 168 Tests in which he hit 32 centuries and 50 half-centuries. He had also taken 92 wickets and 112 catches. In One-day internationals, from which he was sacked as captain in 2002, Waugh had scored 7,569 runs at 32.91 from 325 matches. When 38-year old veteran left the arena for the final time, the entire stadium rose as one and all the Indian team members shook his hands and continued clapping till he disappeared from the ground. (With PTI inputs)