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Michael Clarke capped a sensational opening year as Australia captain by claiming his third Allan Border Medal on Monday night.

Clarke's victory as the nation's cricketer of the year places him second on the all-time list, trailing only ex-skipper Ricky Ponting who has claimed the award four times in its 13-year history.

The 30-year-old Clarke polled 231 votes from players, media and umpires with Mike Hussey second on 174 and Shane Watson third with 166 in the voting period from February 6, 2011 to February 24, 2012.

Ponting finished fourth at the grand old age of 37 on 141 votes and 21-year-old quick James Pattinson was fifth with 114.

In a dramatic night, Australia's Test, One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 Player of the Year Awards were all decided on countbacks.

Clarke claimed the Test award but only after triumphing in a countback from Ponting.

Clarke (1167 runs at 68.65 in 11 Tests) and Ponting (837 at 52.31 in 10 Tests) both polled nine votes but Clarke was awarded the title because he had more three-votes.

Clarke's Test season included five centuries, highlighted by his unbeaten 329 in last month's Sydney Test against India.

"No doubt it is very special," Clarke said after claiming his third AB Medal.

"It was fantastic to score my highest score on my home ground in front of my family and friends."
Mike Hussey was third in the Test award on eight votes alongside young quick James Pattinson, who was man of the match twice in four Tests this summer before breaking down with a foot injury.

Allrounder Shane Watson beat Clarke on a countback to claim the ODI award. Vice-captain Watson and Clarke polled 19 votes each. The award went to Watson because he had more three-votes than Clarke. Watson also pipped Matthew Wade in a two-step countback to win the Twenty20 award.

The pair polled five votes each and one three-vote each. The decision came down to performance points, with each run valued at one point and each wicket worth 20 points while a catch is worth 10 points.

Watson hit 119 runs at an average of 39.67 and claimed two wickets and two catches while Wade made 115 at 38.33 and took one catch.

Legspin great Shane Warne, who retired in 2007 with 708 Test wickets from 145 matches, was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

David Warner, who hit two centuries in his debut Test summer, won the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year Award.

Victoria's Rob Quiney polled 52 per cent of players' votes to win the Domestic Player of the Year Award.


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Clarke claims Allan Border Medal from Ponting
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