Ponting eyes ton as Tasmania dominate
Tasmania 3 for 315 (Doolan 95, Ponting 89*, Cosgrove 56) v Victoria
Ricky Ponting continued his promising start to the season with an unbeaten 89 against a Test-class Victoria attack as Tasmania dominated the opening day at the MCG. Ponting and Alex Doolan, who made 95, were the stand-outs for the Tigers after the openers Mark Cosgrove and Ed Cowan both batted well, and having been sent in by Victoria's captain Cameron White, Tasmania were 3 for 315 at stumps.
George Bailey was on 13, having joined Ricky Ponting late in the day when the otherwise steadfast Doolan was bowled by Peter Siddle, missing the chance for his second century of the season. Ponting was eyeing triple figures by the close of play, having gradually worked his way into his summer with 9, 34 and 85 not out in the Shield so far, and less than three weeks from the first Test against South Africa it was an encouraging sign.
Ponting struck 10 fours and a six against Victoria, whose seven bowlers had all played for Australia in either Test or ODI cricket. James Pattinson, Andrew McDonald and John Hastings all went wicketless, as did White, and the first breakthrough didn't come until Tasmania had scored 90, when Cosgrove top-edged Glenn Maxwell and was caught at deep backward square leg for 56.
Cowan showed patience and made 42 from 135 balls but didn't capitalise on his start, caught at slip off the bowling of Clint McKay. But that brought Doolan and Ponting together for their 151-run partnership and with Tim Paine, James Faulkner and Luke Butterworth all still to bat, Victoria faced the prospect of conceding a hefty score on the second day unless they could make early breakthroughs.