Bailey hits a world record

GEORGE Bailey cemented his spot in the Australian Test team the same way he had in the one-day line-up - with a world record.

Two months after becoming the highest run-scoring captain in a bilateral ODI series, the former South Launceston batsman exploded onto the Test arena as Australia accelerated towards an Ashes victory in the third Test.

Bailey hit 4, 6, 2, 4, 6, 6 in the final over of Australia's second innings in Perth yesterday.

The total of 28 equalled the achievement of West Indian great Brian Lara to South African Robin Peterson exactly 10 years and two days earlier.

What made the feat all the more remarkable was that while Lara's tally came off a spinner, Bailey's came courtesy of James Anderson, England's all-time highest international wicket-taker currently ranked the 10th best bowler in the world.

Bailey surpassed the Australian record of 26 runs in an over, ironically achieved five years earlier by the man he was batting with, Mitchell Johnson.

Australian captain Michael Clarke declared at the end of the over, setting England  504 for victory and ending Bailey's enthralling 41-minute 30-ball innings on 39 not out.

At stumps, the tourists had reached 5-251, requiring another 253 runs for an unlikely win.

After three Test matches batting at No. 6, the 31-year-old Bailey has 136 runs at an average of 34.00.

Yesterday's heroics came at the end of a phenomenal year in which Tasmania's Sheffield Shield-winning captain has also led his country in Twenty20 and ODI formats.

In a losing six-match ODI series in India, the 31-year-old amassed 478 runs at 95.60 _ an average that would have been three figures had he not been run out for four in the final match. Bailey passed 50 in the other five matches, continued beyond 80 in four of them and his career-best 156 off 114 balls in Nagpur was the highest score by an Australian against India, beating fellow Tasmanian captain Ricky Ponting's 140 not out in the 2003 World Cup final.

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