Tag Archives: sparring

Bahrain Grand Prix 2013: Lewis Hamilton 37 points clear of Jenson Button – Phil Duncan

The Chequered Flag: Hamilton streaks clear of Button as McLaren continue to struggle

with arguably the most complete package on the grid while a top-10 finish for Mercedes became as rare as a nun in a bikini. We mustn’t forget that in the final six races of last season, the Silver Arrows managed only one points-scoring finish when Michael Schumacher ended his F1 career with a seventh place at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

he’d gathered 43.

At the same stage this year, he is 10th in the championship with just 13 points. Unlucky for some. Unlucky for Button.

For his old sparring partner however, this season, in terms of points attained, ranks as a better start for Hamilton than both the 2010 and 2012 seasons.

Indeed with a total of 50 already on the championship table, the 2008 world champion has collated a bigger haul than the man who he replaced – that’s Michael Schumacher for those of you with a short-term memory – managed in 20 outings for the German manufacturer last season.

Off the pace: Button and McLaren have endured a slow start to the season

Promising start: Hamilton has already amassed more points than Schumacher did in his whole Mercedes career

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You can follow Phil at: @PhilDuncanF1

I cannot recall a time when Hamilton was so happy to finish fifth, but the British star knows Bahrain is Mercedes’ achilles heel, and the fact that he leaves the Gulf Kingdom with a decent haul of points after a troubled weekend, will provide him and his team with a major boost as Formula One heads back to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix in three weeks time.

We should make no bones about it, Hamilton can fight for this year’s title. But whether he will be able to rival Vettel, whose performance yesterday illustrated exactly why he is a triple world champion, remains to be seen.

The same however, probably cannot be said of Button. The McLaren is already beginning to look like a better-tamed beast than the unruly animal which was unleashed in Melbourne over a month ago. But that said, the British star is already 64 points behind Vettel.

Barcelona will provide the Woking-based team with the acid test; a poor weekend in Spain usually translates to a poor season.

And Button, who has finished on the Spanish podium only twice in 12 previous attempts, will want his focus in Barcelona to be on the sharp end of the pack and not banging wheels with team-mate Sergio Perez while fighting for the menial places as in Bahrain.

Flashpoint: Perez and Button were locked in battle

Flashpoint: Perez and Button were locked in battle

Organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix are already turning their attention to next season and the 10th anniversary of their hotly-disputed race.

‘We are looking at many options,’ Zayed Al Zayani, chairman of the event, told AUTOSPORT today.

‘A night race is one of them, but it is not the only one,’ he continued. ‘It is our tenth race and our tenth anniversary, so we want to do something different.’

It is also being suggested that the race could be moved to the opening weekend of the season. I for one hope this isn’t the case.

Australia should play host to every Formula One curtain raiser in my opinion, but I guess money will talk…

Five more years: Ecclestone is ready to sign a new deal with Bahrain

Five more years: Ecclestone is ready to sign a new deal with Bahrain

Driver of the Day

So close, yet so far. Paul Di Resta was on course to become the first Scottish driver on the podium in almost five years before he was overtaken by Romain Grosjean in the closing stages of yesterday’s race.

Nevertheless, it ranked as an impressive weekend for the 27-year-old who looks to have the bit between his teeth in his third season with Force India.

The Scot has made no secret of his desire to race for a bigger team, and after being snubbed by McLaren, what better way to bounce back than by doing your talking on the track.

Great Scot: Di Resta finished in fourth

Great Scot: Di Resta finished in fourth

Unites States Grand Prix 2012: Ferrari bend rules with Felipe Massa gearbox change

Ferrari bend rules to seal Alonso advance after hitting their own driver with five-place penalty



22:38 GMT, 18 November 2012

Ferrari bent the rules and rode their luck to keep Fernando Alonso's title challenge alive by the slenderest of margins with one race remaining.

The team broke the seal on Felipe Massa's gearbox before the race to incur a five-place grid penalty, thus promoting his tem-mate Alonso to seventh on the grid, and the clean side of the track.

The Spaniard, who made the most of the dubious tactic to catapult himself to fourth place by Turn One, said: 'We know our championship is still alive thanks to the first lap. It was not possible to challenge these two guys – they were too far ahead but this podium, after a difficult weekend, is like a victory for us. Only Sebastian is in a better position than us so we should be proud of ourselves.'

Podium finish: Alonso finished third after making three places off the start-line

Podium finish: Alonso finished third after gaining three places off the start-line

Fortune then favoured the brave when Mark Webber was forced to retire on lap 17 with yet another alternator issue, a failure which moved Alonso into third.

Even a tardy pit stop was not enough to end Alonso hopes as Lewis Hamilton did his former McLaren sparring partner a huge favour by grabbing the lead from Sebastian Vettel on lap 42 before fending off the German.

Recovery drive: Massa started in 11th after Ferrari changed his gearbox

Recovery drive: Massa started in 11th after Ferrari changed his gearbox

Delighted at earning a victory for McLaren before departing for Mercedes next season, Hamilton said: 'I am so happy. It has been a long, long time since we had a win. It gives me a huge amount of satisfaction to be able to beat Red Bull and Sebastian. They were incredibly strong but we were able to do it. It was very difficult to get past. I knew that lap was going to be our chance so I turned the engine up and I got past. I rubbed the car and said, “Come on baby, we can make it”. To finish on a high is really special. Hopefully we can go to Brazil with the same pace.'

Vettel needs to finish inside the top four to be guaranteed of a third successive world title in Brazil next weekend.

He said: 'We have been very quick in Brazil in the last few years and we have increased the lead in the championship so I think we are in a very good position.'

London 2012 Olympics: Wrestling chief blasts Team GB

They absolutely sucked… and you can write that down! Wrestling chief blasts Team GB



09:05 GMT, 11 August 2012

British Wrestling stood by their policy of foreign imports despite a withering attack from the president of the sport's international governing body.

More criticism was aimed at British Wrestling this week after Britain's sole wrestler at the Olympics – Ukraine-born Olga Butkevych – crashed out of the -55kg freestyle in the first round.

The organisation were already under fire for failing to fill their quota of three athletes, and for going back on their vow that foreign imports, who came to Britain as sparring partners five years ago, would not be allowed to wrestle for Team GB.

End of the road: Olga Butkevych (red) crashed out in the first round

End of the road: Olga Butkevych (red) crashed out in the first round

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And the organisation were hit by fresh criticism from Raphael Martinetti, president of Fidiration Internationale des Luttes Associies (FILA) yesterday evening.

'The British team actually managed to do nothing,' Martinetti told a press conference.

'Three places were awarded to Great Britain but they decided to keep only one.

'Who is to blame Great Britain Someone else the federation I am not sure, but what I can tell you is that they absolutely sucked, and you can write that down.'

Going down: The Ukraine-born Brit failed to make it beyond the opening round

Going down: The Ukraine-born Brit failed to make it beyond the opening round

British Wrestling defended their policy after the attack.

'The policy of bringing training partners to Britain was to raise standards,' the body's chief executive Colin Nicholson said.

The British Olympic Association ruled in May that Leon Rattigan and Oleksandr Madyarchyk were not good enough to wrestle for Team GB despite the fact they only missed their qualification target by one and two places respectively.

Nicholson believes the pair should have been allowed to compete in London.

'FILA is not used to having host nation places returned to it. that was the result of a BOA policy, a policy of returning host nation places where the agreed selection criteria hasn't been met,' he added.

'There is no doubt that British Wrestling was able to field three credible athletes at the Olympics.

'The other two athletes (Rattigan and Madyarchyk) have both beaten other wrestlers who are participating in the Olympic Games in previous competitions.'

David Haye vows to KO Dereck Chisora early on at Upton Park

'Crazy' Chisora issues warning after Haye vows to end grudge fight with early KO



14:24 GMT, 11 July 2012

Dereck Chisora has responded to David Haye's prediction of an early end to their grudge match by declaring he would be the 'craziest' ever in the ring.

The British rivals, separated by a steel fence and flanked by security guards, came head to head in the final press conference before Saturday's showdown at Upton Park.

Screen test: David Haye (left) Dereck Chisora are kept apart (again)

Screen test: David Haye (left) Dereck Chisora are kept apart (again)

Screen test: David Haye (left) Dereck Chisora are kept apart (again)

The disgraceful scenes in Munich were universally condemned, but they have been given the chance to settle their differences in the ring.

'Dereck's getting knocked out quick. The harder he comes the quicker he gets KO'd,' Haye said.

'My training has been good. I'm healthy, fit and fast.

Haye opened hostilities by declaring
he would knock out Chisora in the opening rounds, but his opponent
insisted he would fight fire with fire.

'I'm going to be the craziest I've been when I come into the ring,' he said.

Wind up: Haye mocks Chisora

All smiles: Haye didn't appear worried by the threat

Wind up: Haye mocks Chisora

Wind up: Haye mocks Chisora

'Everything has gone well for me, I have no injuries and it's going to be a great fight.'

Haye and Chisora traded blows at a press conference in the aftermath of Chisora's loss to Vitali Klitschko in February.

'This training camp has been one of the first I've been able to do everything we planned because nothing has broken down.

'It's a situation I've never been in before and I can feel the difference.

'My sparring partners have felt the difference as well. Unfortunately for Dereck he's fighting the best ever Hayemaker.'

Puerto Rican Luis Pabon has been confirmed as the referee for the fight.

London 2012 Olympics: Wrestler Myroslav Dykun handed two year ban

Drug cheat wrestler Dykun handed two-year ban after failing test



22:35 GMT, 6 July 2012

Wrestler Myroslav Dykun, the ‘plastic Brit’ who failed a drugs test, as exclusively revealed by Sportsmail, has been banned for two years.

UK Anti-Doping has announced that Dykun, originally from Ukraine, tested positive for methamphetamine in March and the Greco-Roman wrestler’s B sample has come back positive. Dykun had been hoping to compete for Team GB at the Olympics later this month.

In the wake of his failed drugs test he will now be banned from participating in the sport until April 29, 2014.

No go: Ukrainian-born Myroslav Dykun will not be competing at the Olympics

No go: Ukrainian-born Myroslav Dykun will not be competing at the Olympics

UKAD chief executive Andy Parkinson said: “Our pre-Games prevention programme was put in place to ensure that only clean athletes represent Great Britain and this case proves that the system is working.

'When the eyes of the world fall on London later this month, we want the public to have confidence in clean sport and understand that doping of any kind will not be tolerated.'

Dykun, 29, came to Britain in 2003 to be a sparring partner, but he, along with a number of other foreign-born wrestlers, decided they wanted to compete for Britain in London 2012.

The policy, sanctioned by British Wrestling, proved controversial, with some branding the wrestlers as 'Plastic Brits'.

London 2012 Olympcis: Ruslan Panteleymonov hits out at Myroslav Dykun

'Plastic Brit' Dykun under fire from compatriot after failing drugs test



14:58 GMT, 4 May 2012

The ‘Plastic Brit’ wrestler revealed by Sportsmail to have failed a drugs test has come under attack from a Great Britain gymnast who was also born in Ukraine.

Ruslan Panteleymonov said Myroslav Dykun’s positive test was a side effect of British Wrestling’s policy to import talent from abroad, because procedures overseas could not always be depended upon.

Panteleymonov, who came to Britain to study at university 12 years ago and has therefore never been termed a ‘Plastic Brit’, also argued the decision to promote Dykun from sparring partner to team member after he gained eligibility was ‘not right’ and made a mockery of international competition.

Under fire: Wrestler Myroslav Dykun has failed a drugs test

Under fire: Wrestler Myroslav Dykun has failed a drugs test

Over the past few years, several Eastern European wrestlers initially flown in to provide training assistance have instead become British representatives themselves and five have married British wrestlers in recent years, though British Wrestling deny these are shams.

. He now lives 10 minutes outside Leicester.

Hitting out: Gymnast Ruslan Panteleymonov criticised Dykun

Hitting out: Gymnast Ruslan Panteleymonov criticised Dykun

Asked if he understood why some people would be against British Wrestling’s mercenary tactics, the 28-year-old said: ‘Yes I do, because it’s not right.

‘The English guys who were training and competing before, they’re doing their preparation, doing everything, trying, and then some foreigners come and they say, ‘Alright, we compete now.’

‘This is not really nice because every single country could go and do the same, buy somebody just for one competition. You don’t go as a nation. You don’t feel that if every other athlete is going to be from Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, and you don’t have your own athletes.

Shortcut: 'Plastic Brit' Dykun (red) was born in Ukraine

Shortcut: 'Plastic Brit' Dykun (red) was born in Ukraine

‘I’ve trained here more than I used to in Ukraine. You can say I’ve become a great gymnast, or a good gymnast, here. Not in Ukraine, it came here.

‘I feel like this is home. I know my family are still over there but every time I tell them, “It’s my home here.”’

Panteleymonov does not know Dykun and declined to comment on his individual case, but said it showed why more checks should be in place when an athlete switches nationalities, as prior testing may not have been as rigorous.

‘If you invite somebody too late, you don’t know if they took any drugs before,’ he said. ‘You need to keep checking regularly, for doping controls.’

London 2012 Olympics: Don"t be surprised if we"ve hired a cheat – Martin Samuel

We sold our soul for medals, so don't be surprised if we've hired a cheat

Martin Samuel


22:28 GMT, 2 May 2012



22:28 GMT, 2 May 2012

The Plastic Brit policy has been expanded. It's beginning to look as if we're so modern, we even have our own plastic cheats. The failed drugs test of Ukrainian-born Myroslav Dykun could throw into sharp relief this Faustian pact between British Wrestling and UK Sport.

This is what happens when a nation cravenly trades its soul for medals; this is what happens when a struggling, minority sport is ordered not to compromise in its quest for funding.

Dykun's positive sample may turn out to be the wholly unsurprising price of desperate self-advancement; sporting integrity being the first casualty of a clumsy lunge for the podium glory now necessary to secure UK Sport's government and lottery bounty.

Flag of inconvenience: Myroslav Dykun's positive test will embarrass Britain

Flag of inconvenience: Myroslav Dykun's positive test will embarrass Britain

Once it was decided that the ends justifies the means, that no prospects equalled no cash, there was always going to be a reckoning. Perhaps it is for the best that this tarnishing of the image of British sport arrives now, and not in the middle of our London Games.

Dykun came to Britain as a 21-year-old, ostensibly as a sparring partner for the best domestic wrestlers. Soon, the training party became the team, to the extent that of the seven athletes in British Wrestling's elite performance plan, five are east European.

No sparring partner: Dykun came to Britain as a 21-year-old and graduated to the Wrestling team

No sparring partner: Dykun came to Britain as a 21-year-old and graduated to the Wrestling team

A plastic drug cheat is no worse than a
home-produced one, of course, and the sin and sense of revulsion are the
same. Yet, however much opprobrium is heaped on Dykun, it is hard to
dismiss the thought that this is a direct result of UK Sport's demand
that winning is all and the details can be filled in later.

So desperate have we become for medals at our home Olympics that we appear to have allowed a dreadful lowering of standards on a variety of levels.

Denied a passport: Yana Stadnik (right)

Denied a passport: Yana Stadnik (right)

Blame and ban Dykun, if the B sample
confirms his guilt, obviously. But do not stop there. Blame Colin
Nicholson, chief executive of British Wrestling; blame his performance
director Shaun Morley, and blame the performance director of UK Sport,
Peter Keen. It is his policy of 'no compromise' that drags us here.

By linking funding purely to medal hopes – with some sports, particularly the highly competitive team events such as volleyball barely receiving anything at all – Keen has risked pushing the overseers of Olympic sports to extremes.

British Wrestling knew they would lose valuable financial support with weaker domestic athletes, so opted to protect their funding and succeed by any means necessary.

With Dykun's positive sample the sport is now in crisis. Home Office scrutiny is being applied to some recent marriages involving key team members and even the president of the world governing body, FILA, was moved to condemn Britain's opportunistic approach.

This, however, is a new low. Dykun's positive test will surely provoke an investigation into how much we want to triumph at these Games, and what we are prepared to sacrifice to win. Too much, it would seem, if we would rather fast-track cheats than send out our best to be beaten.

In our belief that compromise is for losers, we have exchanged what is right for what brings rewards – but this is fool's gold, as cheap and worthless as plastic.

Rio Ferdinand receives Nemanja Vidic backing

Rio's past it You're talking nonsense, says Vidic as crocked defender backs Ferdinand



06:12 GMT, 5 April 2012

Nemanja Vidic has described claims earlier this season that central defensive partner Rio Ferdinand was finished as a top-flight force as 'nonsense'.

With a troublesome back problem restricting appearances for the previous three seasons, his England place taken away by Fabio Capello and a renewed threat at Manchester United following the arrival of Phil Jones, it was thought this season could be the 33-year-old Ferdinand's last at Old Trafford.

Perfect timing: Vidic has come out in support of Ferdinand

Perfect timing: Vidic has come out in support of Ferdinand

However, Vidic was confident those assessments would prove to be incorrect and a series of outstanding performances from Ferdinand – typified by his well timed tackle on Yakubu that denied the Nigerian a certain goal at Blackburn on Monday – have done exactly that.

'At the beginning of the season there were a lot of people questioning Rio, asking whether he could do what he did in the past, can he play, is he finished' Vidic said.

'This was nonsense. Rio has hunger and now he has proved people they are wrong.

'He is a very important player, not just this year but over the past years and he has done very well over the last few months.'

Sparring partners: Rio and Vidic

Sparring partners: Rio and Vidic

Ferdinand is one of the foundations upon which United's latest Barclays Premier League title challenge has been built. Yet it all seemed so unlikely when Vidic was carried off on a stretcher with ruptured cruciate ligaments against Basle in December as United crashed out of the Champions League.

Already trailing a rampant Manchester City in the league, with Wayne Rooney and David de Gea among the other more notable figures struggling for form, it was hard to see what positives would emerge from the wreckage of a devastating European exit.

Less than four months on, United are now five points clear of City, Rooney has 28 goals and De Gea has made a succession of vital saves that have ensured the Red Devils have taken maximum advantage of City's slump.

Vidic is still missing of course, but the Serbian is taking pride in his team-mate's achievements.

'I always believed we would challenge for the title,' he said. 'It doesn't matter who is out. Manchester United never depend on one player.

'If you look at the past, players have left and fans have said how are we going to cope But the manager is the best at replacing players and the team still win titles and trophies.

'That is why Manchester United are so special.'

Dereck Chisora and David Haye: When boxing turns nasty

When boxing turns nasty: Chisora and Haye are not the first to come to blows

May 31, 2003

Police investigated a brawl that started at ringside following one of Audley Harrison’s fights. Rival Herbie Hide was standing nearby while Harrison was being interviewed on live TV and allegedly pushed a woman off a chair. Pushing and shoving followed before Hide fled the scene.

Chairs and punches were thrown as Hide and his team ran through York Hall in Bethnal Green. Hide said: ‘I never pushed anybody. I was wearing a 3,000 Armani suit and an 85,000 watch. If I had come for a fight I would not be wearing those things. They broke my watch and battered my BMW when I tried to drive away afterwards.’

Pile in: Herbie Hide (bottom right) clashed with Audley Harrison

Pile in: Herbie Hide (bottom right) clashed with Audley Harrison

January 22, 2002

A press conference to announce their world heavyweight title fight descended into farce as Mike Tyson and Britain’s Lennox Lewis scuffled in front of the cameras and journalists at New York’s Millennium Hotel. The boxers’ teams got involved in a mass brawl and Tyson bit Lewis on the leg. WBC president Jose Sulaiman was knocked unconscious during the melee.

Altercation: Things got heated between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson

Altercation: Things got heated between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson

June 24, 1999

At a final press conference shortly before his WBO world heavyweight title defence against Vitali Klitschko, Herbie Hide threw a table at British rival Danny Williams, who claimed he had floored the Norwich boxer in sparring. Hide was then KO’d by Klitschko in the ring two days later.

Break it up: Herbie Hide (left) and former sparring partner Danny Williams

Break it up: Herbie Hide (left) and former sparring partner Danny Williams

January 10, 1994

Norwich’s Herbie Hide grappled on the floor outside London’s Sheraton Park Hotel with rival Michael Bentt at a press conference to announce their WBO heavyweight title fight. ‘He turned round and whacked me,’ said Hide. ‘I went in a puddle, but it was a fall more than the force of the blow.’

Getting down to it: Herbie Hide and Michael Bentt fight outside a hotel

Getting down to it: Herbie Hide and Michael Bentt fight outside a hotel

October 9, 1985

Londoner Mark Kaylor and Coventry’s Errol Christie traded punches at the press conference to announce their forthcoming British middleweight title fight. There had been calls for the fight to be scrapped because of fears it was too racially charged.

Calm down: Mark Kaylor (left) traded punches with rival Errol Christie

Calm down: Mark Kaylor (left) traded punches with rival Errol Christie

Australia close to 4-0 series win over India

India facing another series whitewash as Australian attack decimates top order

Australia continued to march towards a 4-0 series whitewash of India on day four of the fourth Test at Adelaide Oval as the tourists closed on 166 for six.

Set a record fourth-innings run chase of 500 to conjure a miracle victory, India are still 333 runs in arrears with just four wickets in hand after established pair VVS Laxman and Virat Kohli fell in the final 10 minutes.

Laxman was dropped by Ricky Ponting at a wide second slip on 25 when he played a loose drive against Ryan Harris, but his watchful vigil ended on 35 after he whipped a short Nathan Lyon offering right off the meat of the bat to Shaun Marsh, who snapped up a very sharp chance at short mid-wicket.

Skittled: Sachin Tendulkar and the rest of his India team-mates are facing up to a second series whitewash

Skittled: Sachin Tendulkar and the rest of his India team-mates are facing up to a second series whitewash


Click here to see a breakdown of the score

Then from the final ball of the day's penultimate over, first-innings centurion Kohli (22) was brilliantly run out by his day three sparring partner Ben Hilfenhaus, whose off-balance shy at the non-striker's end from mid-wicket was a direct hit with a diving Kohli short of his ground after he scurried desperately for a single to keep the strike.

Lyon (three for 57), who sent India's acting captain Virender Sehwag (62) on his way shortly before tea with a rank full toss, was the man who broke India's hearts when he got rid of Sachin Tendulkar with a nice looping ball which the “Little Master” prodded forward defensively against.

The ball deflected from Tendulkar's glove onto his pad and bobbed up for a sitter to Ed Cowan at short leg, his departure for 13 meaning the wait for Tendulkar's 100th international century goes on.

Tendulkar was surprisingly passive and tentative against Lyon throughout his short innings and paid the ultimate price before trudging off to a standing ovation from the appreciative Adelaide crowd.

Howzat: Peter Siddle impressed with the ball

Howzat: Peter Siddle impressed with the ball

It also left Tendulkar without a ton for the series, the first time in five Test tours of Australia over two decades that he has failed to score a century.

Nightwatchman Ishant Sharma came out in the third-last over of the evening and was immediately greeted by an ultra-attacking field, with every fielder in catching positions around the bat as Lyon bowled with his tail up.

Kohli's endeavours to protect Sharma brought about the downfall of the exciting India number six.

With victory long out of the question, India's faint hopes to even escape with a draw rested with Laxman and Kohli, but a crazy final 10 minutes put an end to such dreams.

Indian legends Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, with almost 29,000 runs and 87 tons between them from a combined 352 Tests, were initially armed with that responsibility but their watchful union ended when out-of-touch Dravid (25) thick-edged a widish Ryan Harris ball to Mike Hussey at gully.

Tendulkar fell three overs later as Lyon bowled his best spell of the series, trundling in for 13 overs unchanged from the River End.

Piling them on: Michael Clarke did his bit with the bat earlier in the day

Piling them on: Michael Clarke did his bit with the bat earlier in the day

Before lunch, India lost openers Gautam Gambhir (three) and Sehwag (62) to be 92 for two at tea.

Sehwag's blazing knock included a mix of the sublime and the ridiculous, but it was never boring.

His 50 arrived off just 36 balls and included 11 boundaries – or 88% of his total score – and he had scored more than 80% of India's runs by that point.

But he threw his wicket away recklessly on 62 when he danced down the pitch to Lyon, who induced a leading edge as Sehwag tried to smash the ball into the car park.

Closing in: Australia are on the brink of securing a 4-0 series win

Closing in: Australia are on the brink of securing a 4-0 series win

The shot ended Sehwag's exciting 53-ball knock, which included 12 fours – all scored on the off-side – as Ponting comfortably claimed the skied ball at short cover.

Sehwag had been looming as the danger-man to Michael Clarke's side after the Aussie skipper declared the home side's innings at 167 for five with Ponting again top-scoring, unbeaten on 60.

Clarke made 37, concluding a golden series with the bat in which he amassed 626 runs at 125.20 with a strike rate of 69.86, while Ponting's series yielded 544 runs at 108.80.