Ricky Ponting Shines As Australia Triumph




Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting starred with the bat with a cracking knock of 63, while some important shares were contributed with the ball by debutant Pat Cummins, 3 for 28 and Mitchelle Marsh. Batting second in a match regularly affected by some violent storms that totally engulfed the stadium as play was held up for four and a half hours. The Proteas crumpled to 129 all out in response to Australia’s competitive 183 for four from a revised 29 overs. The South African response was not up to the mark from almost the moment it began with former skipper back in the hut after just 5 balls of play as he played across to Doug Bollinger delivery. After the opener making his way back, Kallis and Amla joined to put up a 36 run partnership which was brought to an end by Cummins. He got his first ODI scalp in the form of Kallis, tempting him forward and forced an edge by the classy batsman that ended his innings for 15.

Former Australian Captain Ricky Ponting

Former Australian Captain Ricky Ponting

JP Duminy was caught by Michael Clarke just two balls later at second slip. Marsh after a small interval of time removed Amla for 24 thanks to a majestic catch by Brad Haddin.  Xavier Doherty’s ball drew a drive out of David Miller and Clarke claimed a catch at point, but the third umpire was called over uncertainty over a bump ball. Miller was duly given out for 11, and Doherty had two not long after when he trapped Mark Boucher in front for one, the decision given after Clarke reviewed the original call. Cummins then dropped Johan Botha off Marsh, but the wickets kept coming as Mitchell Johnson removed Faf du Plessis for 27. Dale Steyn for 5 and Johan Botha for 25 both departed to Johnson and Cummins respectively as they chased quick runs and, when Marsh caught Lonwabo Tsotsobe to give Johnson figures of three for 20, the game was all over.

Earlier, Ponting top scored with 63 of 77 ball knock, with able support coming from the normally conservative Mike Hussey 30 of 21 balls. When play had initially started under bright sunshine, Australia had lost a wicket inside three overs. The pinch-hitter David Warner was the man to go having scored 20, all of his side’s runs off the bat at that point, when he inside-edged Steyn and turned to see his leg stump removed from the ground. Ponting was at the other end, acting as a makeshift opener owning to the absence of the injured Shane Watson. Clarke joined his old mentor at the crease and the pair was unbeaten on 29 and 40 when the rain came. From then until the resumption the covers came on and off numerous times but, when play eventually got back under way, Australia did not hang around.

Two straight sixes off Tsotsobe allowed Clarke to almost catch Ponting up before the former was run out for 44 attempting to force the pace. Ponting and Hussey carried on regardless, with Ponting perishing when he picked out Botha at backward point off Steyn, leaving Hussey to carry the fight, with small contributions from Haddin nine and Marsh eight not out respectively.

Second ODI at St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth does ensure a heated affair between the top sides of ODI on 23rd October.

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