Shamik Das

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ponting and Hussey brazen it out

Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting put on 192 for the fourth wicket to revivie home hopes

Adelaide, Second Test, Third Day: Australia 312/5 (Ponting 142, Hussey 91; Hoggard 4-76) v England 551/6 dec.

Ricky Ponting struck his 33rd Test century - a new Australian record - to wrest back the initiative from England on day three at the Adelaide Oval.

Ponting's seventh Ashes ton took him above Steve Waugh (32) and to within one of Brian Lara & Sunil Gavaskar (34 each), and just two behind Sachin Tendulkar, who leads the way with 35.

The Australia captain was ably supported by Michael Hussey, who fell just nine runs short of 100. It wasn't all one-way traffic, however, with the visitors left rueing two moments of sloppy fielding.

Firstly, Ashley Giles dropped Ponting when he'd made only 35, shelling a simple chance at square leg. Then, less than ten overs later, Paul Collingwood narrowly failed to run the Aussie skipper out.

The Aussie skipper salutes the crowd on reaching three figures    Michael Hussey plays a textbook drive off the ineffective James Anderson

Matthew Hoggard was the only Englishman to emerge with an enhanced reputation, taking all four wickets to fall - arguably his best performance since bowling England to victory at the Wanderers two winters ago.

A lot now rests on Michael Clarke and Adam Gilchrist, the not out batsmen overnight, with Gilchrist desperate to make an impact following his run of low scores last summer.

Catch the third day's highlights tonight on BBC Two at 10:45pm, and listen to live coverage of day three on Radio 4 198LW and the
BBC Sport website from 12:30am.


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