Ponting not finished with English bowling
Surrey 362 for 4 (Harinath 154, Ponting 120*) trail Derbyshire 452 by 90 runs
Ricky Ponting has called time on his international career but he has not finished with English bowling as he marked his first-class Surrey debut with a century. He cruised to his 81st first-class hundred and shared a third-wicket stand of 180 in 49 overs on the third day at Derby
Arun Harinath made a career-best 154, while Ponting was unbeaten on 120 from 182 balls out of 362 for four at the close. But with Surrey still trailing by 90 runs it is hard to see either side forcing a victory on the final day.
There was a decent crowd at the Racecourse 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 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 to set the stage for Ponting.
Harinath grew in confidence and reached his third Championship half-century in seven innings when he glanced Mark Footitt to the fine leg boundary for his seventh four.
There was some turn for the spinners but Surrey were close to batting through the morning when Solanki 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.
The sight of Ponting stroking the ball around was enough to make their heads spin but Harinath was far from overshadowed and 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 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 recognised the importance of his innings.
Ponting was soon raising his bat in recognition to the applause for his hundred, which came when he swept Durston for his 13th four. And although Zander de Bruyn was bowled by Wainwright, Derbyshire could only take one bowling point on a day dominated by batsmen.