Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 5th day December 18, 2006

Short cuts - The captain's day



Ricky Ponting's birthday celebrations began early © Getty Images

Captain's celebration
It's Ricky Ponting's birthday on Tuesday and he was planning to stay up till midnight while toasting his Ashes-winning present. "Actually, it's 3 o'clock now so I might not make it," he said. His on-field staying powers are obviously better than his off-field ones.

Missing man
Damien Martyn has been in a mystery location since his retirement and the Australians were hoping to include him in the victory song. "We'll give Damien a ring when we sing it, but I'm not sure he'll answer," Ponting said. Martyn has been a text-messaging recluse since making the decision.

Crowd call of the day
The Barmy Army appealing to the first five balls of Shane Warne's first over, a joke that continued until Monty Panesar's dismissal gave Australia the Ashes.

Courageous act of the day
The seagull who flew across the pitch just as Brett Lee was above to deliver. Fortunately Lee stopped and the bird survived.

Dismissal of the day
Ricky Ponting's run out of Geraint Jones from silly point. It was a stunningly fast underarm and Jones' foot remained on the crease for an easy decision for the third umpire.

Quote of the day
"Every time we got our foot in the door they closed it on us." Andrew Flintoff sums up the series

Peter English is the Australasian editor of Cricinfo