LV County Championship: Ricky Ponting marks first-class Surrey debut with a ton
Ricky Ponting marked his first-class Surrey debut with an unbeaten century on a day dominated by batsmen at Derby.
Last Updated: 02/06/13 7:06pm
The 38-year-old Tasmanian cruised to his 81st first class hundred and shared a third-wicket stand of 180 in 49 overs on the third day of the LV County Championship match against Derbyshire.
Arun Harinath made a career-best 154 and Ponting was unbeaten on 120 from 182 balls, to leave Surrey 362-4 at the close, still trailing by 90 runs.
There was a decent crowd at the County Ground on a sunny morning but they had to wait until after lunch to see Ponting play his first innings for Surrey as Harinath and Vikram Solanki, resuming on 35-1, denied Derbyshire early wickets.
Solanki was well short of his fluent best but applied himself to see the shine off the ball and help Harinath put on 133 for the second wicket, before he fell four balls before lunch to a sharp diving catch by Billy Godleman at short leg off Wes Durston.
Derbyshire knew they had to get Ponting early to put the visitors under pressure but several of their bowlers complained of "light-headedness" along with umpire Nigel Cowley, who left the field for 20 minutes and was replaced by Surrey first team coach Ian Salisbury.
Harinath celebrated his third first-class century in style by lofting Durston for a straight six that was well caught by a spectator.
Ponting's first 50 for Surrey arrived from 85 balls when he pulled David Wainwright for his sixth four, although he was lucky when he mistimed a pull at Mark Footitt which lobbed over the wicketkeeper's head for two.
Harinath reached his 150 from 291 balls but was bowled when he tried to pull a Wainwright delivery. The 26-year-old departed to a standing ovation and a handshake from Ponting, who was soon raising his bat in recognition to the applause for his hundred, which came when he swept Durston for his 13th four.
Although Zander de Bruyn was bowled by Wainwright, Derbyshire could only take one bowling point on a day dominated by batsmen and it is hard to see either side forcing a victory on the final day.