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Waugh's painful farewell to MCG

Steve Waugh received three standing ovations as he played probably his final innings at the home of Australian cricket in the third Test against India on Sunday.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2003 13:23 IST

Steve Waugh received three standing ovations as he played probably his final innings at the home of Australian cricket in the third Test against India here on Sunday.

But it was not the dream Melbourne Cricket Ground farewell the hard-nosed 38-year-old Australian skipper was planning as he batted in great discomfort from an injured elbow which forced him to retire hurt after just two balls faced.

The tenacious Test warrior later returned to play a stoic innings of 19 with captain-in-waiting Ricky Ponting as Australia attempted to build a match-winning innings lead over the Indians.

Waugh, who has announced Friday's fourth Sydney Test against the Indians will be his 168th and last, was struck on his left elbow by a lifting Agit Agarkar delivery 45 minutes before lunch.

The revered 18-year Test campaigner, who was given a rapturous welcome by the crowd as he first walked out to bat in his final Melbourne Test, had considerable swelling around the elbow, but after ice treatment he returned to bat to another emotional ovation following the dismissal of Simon Katich.

Waugh batted in great discomfort, often removing the top hand off his bat after playing a shot, but he continued to support Ponting in his epic double-century.

He was out leg before wicket to spinner Anil Kumble for 19 to another standing ovation ending a painful 83-minute stint at the wicket off 69 balls with one boundary.

He shared in a 65-run sixth-wicket partnership with Ponting.

Waugh was playing in his 17th Test match at the 70,000-capacity MCG, scoring 1,284 runs at a 53.5 average, with three centuries after making his Test debut there against India in 1985.

Overall Waugh has scored 10,807 Test runs in 258 innings at 50.9 with 32 centuries.

Waugh is expected to receive an emotional farewell at his home Sydney Cricket Ground in the fourth Test later this week.

First Published: Dec 28, 2003 13:15 IST