Ponting steadies Oz ship

2011-12-03 00:00

BRISBANE — Ricky Ponting led an Australian fightback on the second day of the first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba yesterday. 

Ponting, without a century in his previous 28 Test innings and under pressure to keep his place, survived a few close calls to have Australia in good shape at 154 for three in reply to New Zealand’s 295 at stumps.

The former skipper was unbeaten on 67 with his successor, Michael Clarke, not out 28.

Ponting narrowly avoided being run out before he had scored when Brendon McCullum’s throw just missed the stumps at the non-striker’s end and he also survived a video referee’s referral for lbw on 63.

Ponting and Clarke’s unbroken 63-run stand rescued the home side after the loss of David Warner (three), Phil Hughes (10) and Usman Khawaja (38) for 91 runs.

Twenty20 specialist Warner’s Test innings debut lasted just three balls before he was out in the over before lunch when he failed to get out of the way from a superb, lifting Tim Southee delivery and was caught off the gloves by wicketkeeper Reece Young.

Hughes was out to a great diving catch by Martin Guptill in the gully off Chris Martin.

Khawaja again failed to go on after a start when he was run out on the first ball after tea.

New Zealand added 121 runs for their last five wickets from an overnight total 176 for five.

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