CRICKET: Ponting Class Leads Australia to 400 in Day as Indians Wilt
Captain-in-waiting Ricky Ponting smashed a magnificent 176 not out as Australia racked up 400 for five against India on the first day of the second Test match at the Adelaide Oval yesterday.
Ponting, who will take over from Steve Waugh after the four-Test series, punished some wayward bowling to score his 19th century in Test cricket. The first Test at Brisbane was drawn.
Ponting had support from opener Justin Langer (58) and Simon Katich (75) while Ashish Nehra, in an attack lacking injured Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, took two for 80.
Lively 19-year-old debutant Irfan Pathan had left-hander Matthew Hayden edging an outswinger to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, having scored only 12, and Ponting enjoyed good fortune early in his innings.
On 12, a close leg-before appeal off Ajit Agarkar was turned down before he was dropped by Virender Sehwag, who got both hands to the ball in a well-timed jump, at third slip off Pathan when the batsman was on 18. After these blips, the Tasmanian played a wonderful innings.
He and Langer took the score from 22 for one to 135 before Langer per-ished to Anil Kumble shortly before lunch. Having suffered rough treatment by Ponting in particular, the experienced spinner had Langer slogsweeping and top-edging a catch to Sehwag at mid-wicket. …