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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kumble announces retirement

Anil Kumble bowled his last ball for India as the third Test with Australia ended in a draw.

The India skipper announced his retirement before calling a halt to India's second innings on 208 for five, a lead of 244.

That left a possible 23 overs remaining in the day and Kumble came out to bowl four wicketless overs before the captains shook hands.

VVS Laxman had backed up his first innings double hundred with a an unbeaten half-century in the second earlier on the fifth day.

Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson raised faint hopes of a dramatic Australian victory with a wicket apiece in the morning session, but that prospect was ground into the dust at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

Gautam Gambhir (36) and Sachin Tendulkar (47) kept India afloat until Laxman (57 not out) and Sourav Ganguly (32 not out) led India to their declaration total deep into the final session.

That left Australia with the improbable task of chasing 245 for victory and Kumble opened proceedings with the new ball.

Matthew Hayden (16 not out) and Simon Katich (14 not out), however, denied the prolific leg-spinner a final hurrah as they reached 31 for no loss when stumps were drawn after eight overs had been bowled.

Kumble shook hands with his team-mates, both Australian batsman and the umpires at the end and was carried around the ground on the shoulders of his successor Mahendra Singh Dhoni for one last farewell at the Kotla, a venue which had brought him immense success.

The result means India take a 1-0 lead into the fourth and final Test at Nagpur, which starts on Friday, but Australia have a chance to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy should they win there.

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