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Published:Monday | December 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Kohli thanks Aussie backchat

MELBOURNE, (AP):India's Virat Kohli says Australia's onfield sledging and attempted intimidation sparked his career-high innings of 169 on the third day of the third Test yesterday. Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane (148) put together a fluent 262-run partnership on a placid pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, helping India to 462-8 in response to Australia's first innings total of 530.

Tempers flared at times, especially between Kohli and Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, which served only to fire up the Indian batsman.

"It was going on throughout the day," Kohli said. "They were calling me a spoilt brat, and I said 'maybe that's the way I am - I know you guys hate me, and I like that'.

"I like playing against Australia because it's very hard for them to stay calm. It really excites me and brings the best out in me. They don't seem to be learning the lesson."


Beckford on target

LONDON (CMC):Reggae Boy Jermaine Beckford's second goal in nine days was enough to earn Preston North End a share of the points at Crewe, but in-form Trinidadian striker Kenwyne Jones' third goal in four games came too late to save Cardiff from a hiding.

Playing in League One, the 31-year-old Beckford levelled for Preston to snatch a 1-1 draw at Alexandra Stadium, while in the Championship, Jones struck in the dying seconds at Cardiff City to earn a consolation goal for the hosts in a 4-2 drubbing against Watford.