Ponting’s ton guides Australia to 317/7February 24th, 2008 - 4:25 pm ICT by admin
Sydney, Feb 24 (IANS) Captain Ricky Ponting hammered his 26th century to help Australia post 317 runs for seven wickets in 50 overs against India in the 10th ODI of the Commonwealth Bank Triangular Series here Sunday. Ponting made 124 off 132 balls, studded with seven boundaries and one six, and was involved in two 100-run partnerships to take Australia past 300-run mark at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Ponting, who has been struggling to score runs, finally came good after Australia had already booked their berth in the best-of-three finals.
Having opted to bat, after winning the toss, Ponting was first involved with a 110-run stand for the second wicket with Matthew Hayden (54, 62 balls, 5×4s, 1×6), after Adam Gilchrist (16) had departed cheaply with the total reading just 21.
After adding 65 with Michael Clarke (31), Ponting forged another exactly 100-run stand with Andrew Symonds (59, 49 balls, 6×4s, 2×6s) for the fourth wicket.
These three meaningful partnerships took Australia to a competitive total, which Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team should overhaul and win with a bonus point to ensure that they would clash with the hosts in the finals next month.
The highlight of the Australian innings was that all their top order batsmen, barring Gilchrist, fired. Mike Hussey remained unbeaten on 15 off 10 balls.
Indian bowlers did not bowl too well and got hammered for erring in line and length.
India made one change in the XI, bringing back Virender Sehwag in place of Uttar Pradesh pacer Praveen Kumar.
Sehwag turned his arm over with good effect and had danger man Michael Clarke caught by Rohit Sharma.
Pacer Sreesanth was, however, the pick of the six bowlers pressed into service, picking up two wickets at a rather high cost of 58 runs.
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