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Mark Waugh, Ponting hit centuries in drawn tour match


NEW DELHI, March 8 (AFP) - Mark Waugh hit 164 and Ricky Ponting compiled back-to-back centuries as Australia warmed up for the second Test against India with an awesome batting display here on Thursday.

The tourists opted for batting practice ahead of the Calcutta Test from Sunday to pile up 461-7 in their second knock before the three-day match against the Board President's team ended in a draw.

Waugh, dismissed first ball in the first Test at Bombay last week, hit 17 boundaries and seven sixes to follow his 62 in the first innings.

Ponting, who made 102 in the first knock, returned unbeaten with the same score in the second as the Australians made full use of the run-laden wicket at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground.

Out-of-form opener Michael Slater, however, once again missed out when he was dismissed at his overnight score of 26, six less than his best of 32 on the tour.

But captain Steve Waugh said he was confident Slater will come good in the Calcutta Test.

"He's missed out on this tour but he's got 14 Test hundreds and knows how to score runs in a pressure situation," Waugh said.

"I am backing him to get runs at Calcutta."

The match was called off soon after Ponting reached his century to enable the Australians catch the evening flight to Calcutta.

Australia made 451 and 461-7 in the two innings while the president's team, led by Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, managed only 221 in their lone stint at the crease.

The Australians, looking to win their first series on Indian soil since 1970, won the first Test by 10 wickets with two days to spare.

The Calcutta match will be followed soon after by the third and final Test starting in Madras on March 18





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