Ricky Ponting scored as many as 41 Test centuries in his illustrious career for Australia. But on one instance, he was on a verge of a ton with his team at the brink of victory. In fact, Punter, as he was popularly known, needed six runs for the milestone and the Aussies had only four runs to get. Hence, it was pretty evident that he had to clear the boundary to ensure the three-figure score.
It was in the second Test of Australia’s tour of South Africa at the Newlands in Cape Town. The visitors were chasing down a daunting 331 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden set the platform for the chase with scores of 58 and 96 runs respectively. In the 80th over, left-arm chinaman Paul Adams came into the attack.
Ricky Ponting takes on Adams
Knowing that a spinner was in operation, Ponting fancied his chances of getting to his century with a single blow. To his delight, he managed to deposit Adams into the stands. The tweaker operated from over the wicket and dished out a rank long-hop. Ponting had ample time to rack back and pick his spot. The batter had absolutely no intention of keeping the leather on the carpet.
Punter found the middle of the bat and the ball sailed over the boundary at the square leg region. His teammates kept their fingers crossed inside the dressing room, waiting in anticipation. When Ponting nailed his shot with sheer precision, they erupted in ecstasy.
In the meantime, Ponting took it as a chance to troll Adams. Ponting funnily said that he couldn’t have expected for a better deliver to hit for a six. Ponting wrote, “I think this was as excited as I’d been on the field … and I couldn’t have asked for a better ball to hit for six. Thanks Paul,”
Here’s Ponting’s tweet
I think this was as excited as I'd been on the field … and I couldn't have asked for a better ball to hit for six. Thanks Paul 👍 https://t.co/yvmPdkWv9S
— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) April 1, 2020
Ponting had a pretty reasonable series back then. In the opening Test at the Wanderers, he managed 39 runs. Apart from the ton in Cape Town, Ponting also got 47 in the first innings. In the third and final Test at the Kingsmead in Durban, he scored 89 and 34. The Aussies won the series 2-1.
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