Done and dusted: the final frontier- (WARNING- Cricket story)
Australia did their homework, denied their natural instincts and at times resigned themselves to playing ugly. And by Friday night a dearly-savoured reward was in their grasp as Adam Gilchrist's men emphatically conquered their final frontier.
Their plans for this series were based on hard graft, but Australia clinched their first series victory in India in 35 years thanks to an imposing domination of the third Test in Nagpur.
After declaring at 5-329 to set India a Test record 543 to win, or five sessions to survive for a draw, the Australians tore through their under-achieving foes early on, reducing them to 5-37 within 16 overs. After some resistance lower in the order, they were eventually dismissed for a paltry 200.
It was another lame batting performance from India's highly-rated top order, with Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman making two runs each. Not only did India surrender the Border-Gavaskar trophy they had held since 2001, they gave it up in embarrassing style, a 352-run loss giving Australia a 2-0 series lead with one Test to play in Mumbai.
First, the Australians can enjoy a weekend of serious celebration after the realisation of a goal that had left greats like Steve Waugh and Allan Border frustrated. They had come to India minus their captain to play the side most capable of troubling them, and though they enjoyed some luck in the rained-out draw in Chennai, they won comprehensively.
Australia's elation was clear as Damien Martyn took a fine catch in the deep to dismiss Zaheer Khan and end the innings. As a delighted Ricky Ponting watched from the dressing room, his admirable stand-in Adam Gilchrist ran with his arms raised, hollering with delight, until mobbed by his teammates in a tight group embrace.
BRING ON THE POMS!!!!!