Waugh slams century, takes a swipe at his detractors

Published: Friday, March 7, 2003, 23:20 [IST]
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Sydney: Australian Test captain Steve Waugh took a swipe at his detractors on Friday after rescuing New South Wales (NSW) in its crucial Sheffield Shield clash against champion state Queensland at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). "All those Doomsday prophets weren't right, were they?" the 37-year-old said after his unbeaten 107, referring to those who were calling for his Test career to end earlier this summer. A strong Australian lobby still questions whether he should lead his country in the West Indies later this year. "I've been hitting the ball well - I'm still playing okay," Waugh said. With New South Wales needing an outright win in this match to be sure of securing its first inter-state first-class final in almost a decade, Waugh and Michael Clarke both scored dominant centuries to put the home side well in control. At stumps on the second day of the four-day game, NSW was 343 for three, leading overall by a commanding 255 runs. While Waugh mostly ground out the runs in his typically grafting style as he completed the 73rd century of his first-class career, Clarke dazzled to an unbeaten 106, raising his ton from 87 balls in an even 100 minutes. With seven wickets in hand, New South Wales is strongly placed to snatch the six points which would enable it to pip Victoria for the right to line up against Queensland in the season's showdown. It had trailed on the first innings by 88 runs after being bowled out for 102 before dismissing Queensland for 190. If NSW fail to win the current encounter outright, it will pave the way for Victoria to take on the Queenslanders. Victoria appeared to be grinding its way to first innings points against Western Australia in Melbourne. Victoria went to stumps with a solid 245 for four, only 31 runs short of first innings points after ousting Western Australia for 275. In Adelaide, South Australia continued to dominate against Tasmania in a match which has no bearing on the Shield finalists. After David Fitzgerald had carried his score to 147 in South Australia's 500 for six, Tasmania slumped to 155 for five, despite a fighting, unconquered 80 by Michael Divenuto. Copyright AFP 2001

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