Surrey v Nottinghamshire, The Oval, 4th day July 11, 2013

Ponting ends first-class career with a flourish

Vithushan Ehantharajah
29

Surrey 198 (Burns 57, Davies 65*) and 395 for 8 (Ponting 169*, Harinath 69) drew with Nottinghamshire 410 (Mullaney 104, Patel 110, Dernbach 3-84, Tremlett 3-77)
Scorecard

Ricky Ponting was committed to the last. He closed the first class chapter of his career with an unbeaten 169 to earn Surrey a draw against a Nottinghamshire side which was powerless to build on an impressive opening two days. Needing nine wickets, they could only manage seven, as Ponting unfurled a special innings to sign off his long-form career with impeccable class.

He finishes on 24,150 runs - 493 of them coming in his six innings in Surrey whites, including two hundreds and a fifty. Today's hefty unbeaten score gives him an illusory average of 123.25 in this stint, but it wouldn't seem right if a career so illustrious came to end with a dismissal.

That was particularly so when it all ended by him facing the part-time leg spin of Ajmal Shahzad, who resorted to his party trick for the last over of the day before hands were shaken. "There's no worse time to be batting when a part-time bowler comes on," he told ESPNcricinfo, laughing. But after resisting some juicy long hops, that was that.

"First class cricket is over for me," he said. "As much as I enjoy it, I need to look after in my personal life now. It's been nearly 21 years that I've played and a lot of that time has been away from home. I've got a young family and it will be nice to just live a life as a father."

Those that turned up were treated to a display so masterful that at times it seemed Ponting played the day better than the sun itself - guiding Surrey away from dark periods with illuminating boundaries when Nottinghamshire sniffed blood. He was impenetrable in defence and countered with some smart hitting that gave Graeme White and Shahzad (off his long run naturally) cause for self-reflection; the ball thudding off his bat with that signature twang whenever they tried to settle.

He ended immovable, satisfied but, ultimately, disappointed that Surrey come away from yet another Division One game with very little.

"It's nice to finish knowing you can still play," he said, "but unfortunately it wasn't in a winning team. We just haven't grabbed the opportunities we've had. Even at the start of this game, winning the toss on this wicket and getting bowled out for 198 - that was the big moment in this game. We had to bat well in the first innings if we wanted to win and we didn't do that."

There is no doubt that Surrey have developed a great affection for Ponting, who finishes his stay at the end of July before a cameo in the Caribbean Twenty20 and the start of an off-field career with Channel Ten as part of their Big Bash coverage.

Beers were cracked open in honour of their adopted great, before the skipper hammered it home: "It wasn't until Gareth spoke to the boys up there about my career being over that I had the chance to sit back, take my white pads off and put them to one side and think that's the last time I'm going to be wearing them."

Behind the scenes, Ponting has taken it upon himself to imprint his values into the talented and impressionable youth at the club. It's an ingrained stewardship that he says came to him in his final years as an international player, as he looked to bring Australia's next crop through.

He even had half an eye on Ashton Agar's exploits at Trent Bridge, conscious of the 19-year-old's talents having watched him guide Western Australia home against Tasmania in a Sheffield Shield match - a knock Ponting described as "fearless". As Agar notched up a 98 in a similar manner, the former Australian captain couldn't help but smile. "I thought I played pretty well on debut to make 96 and he's ended up making more than me!"

The day started awkwardly, with two Surrey wickets falling in the first hour; Harinath bowled by Harry Gurney, essentially around his legs and Zander de Bruyn's suicidal run out.

When the new ball arrived immediately, Ponting upped the rate but the wicket of Davies brought about a change of tact from the Australian. Only six runs ahead, with five wickets remaining - the last four of which added nothing in the first innings - runs were traded for minutes, and Zafar Ansari batted brilliantly for his 117.

Nottinghamshire had a whiff of victory when Samit Patel removed both Ansari and Gareth Batty in nine balls, before also ending Chris Tremlett's 34-ball stay with some ominous variable bounce. It was no less than Patel's efforts deserved as he displayed commendable appetite and stamina to dig out a win with more than 50 overs of bowling - the vast majority of which were on the money.

But he was no match for Ponting, and that is something a lot of other bowlers have had to accept over the last 20 years. He leaves Surrey staunch in the belief of his teammates and that success in the county championship is a won toss on playful pitch away.

As for the next two days, family time and rest are the order of the day - his long term future in a nutshell.

He recognised as much: "I've spent a lot of time in the middle - these old bones need a little bit of time off," he said.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nutcutlet on July 12, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    Thank you, Punter, for your contributions on & off the field in Surrey's cause. I'm sure that the players who took part here will remember the game, and you final first class innings in particular, for as long as they live. I had a very clear premonition that you'd sign off with a big 'un, because you have always seized the moment to make your point. That has, in my opinion, been one of the defining features of your commitment to the game. When in the presence of greatness, other lives catch a little of the glow & carry it away with them. It was good that you kept the last of the glow as bright as ever -- and brought it to the Oval. All the best in the various t20s and of course, in the rest of your life. Respect.

  • on July 15, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    ponting is going to play FRIENDS LIFE T20 or NOT??????iam totally confused

  • Jagger on July 13, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    When Ricky was younger he was the world's best fieldsman of a calibre Jonty Rhodes still must dream of, and the AIS bowling machine set on maximum speed could not stop him from hooking in front of square. A highly gifted individual indeed. The only thing left for us is the hope that one day he produces a son!

  • on July 12, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Though he may be playing some T20s yet, it must be hard to come to the decision to retire while still able to bat like this. There's nothing quite like the feeling of crashing one through the covers - how is he going to live without that, knowing he still can?. Would be easier on Trescothick if he retired now after 4 ducks in a row!

  • on July 12, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Never been a Punter fan (hard to be as a Pom!) but always respected his batsmanship - a true master.

  • Vpd23 on July 12, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Thank You Punter!! Aah you are sure gonna come up someday in your pajamas to save some team in dire situation somewhere.. something in the near future..Surely!

  • dickiebrewsters on July 12, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Interesting how allarmingly his test career tailed off. In the last 4 years of Test cricket 2681 at 37.76, with over 25% of his runs coming in the 4 centuries he scored over the period. On the other hand, good enough now to continue in domestic cricket for a couple of years & have a crack at 100 centuries, a rarity for non English players.

  • ishud on July 12, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Thank you for all the great memories, Punter! Good luck and all the best for the future! Will never ever forget your glamorous shots!

  • Min2000 on July 12, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    For any young batsmen growing up, you could do far worse than model you technique on Ricky Ponting -- I dont remember seeing him play an ungly shot in 20 years! I think he was unlucky to be captain at a time when Australia's depth was tested but if you need someone to bat to save your life he's be at the top of my list (and I'm a kiwi).

  • brusselslion on July 12, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    @cyril: If Harinath got a jaffa then fair enough, however, re your comments yesterday. You do seem to have a bit of blind spot when it comes to Harinath. He averages 43 in FC this season which ain't bad but, like most of the Surrey batsman, he is inconsistent. Cricinfo lists his most recent 1st class knocks as being: 69, 4, 4*, 36, 23, 26, 65, 154, 4, 24, 11, 53. Moreover, whilst he's not old, he's 26 so he needs to develop pretty quickly from now on: I don't think that he should be considered "..a vital part of the side.." but I can't offer up much in the way of alternatives which, unfortunately, "... does say a lot about the strength of the squad."

    BTW: I'm not a fan of Roy either. 2020 cricketer. In fact, of the youngsters Burns is the one but even he seems to be struggling for consistency at the moment.

  • Nutcutlet on July 12, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    Thank you, Punter, for your contributions on & off the field in Surrey's cause. I'm sure that the players who took part here will remember the game, and you final first class innings in particular, for as long as they live. I had a very clear premonition that you'd sign off with a big 'un, because you have always seized the moment to make your point. That has, in my opinion, been one of the defining features of your commitment to the game. When in the presence of greatness, other lives catch a little of the glow & carry it away with them. It was good that you kept the last of the glow as bright as ever -- and brought it to the Oval. All the best in the various t20s and of course, in the rest of your life. Respect.

  • on July 15, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    ponting is going to play FRIENDS LIFE T20 or NOT??????iam totally confused

  • Jagger on July 13, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    When Ricky was younger he was the world's best fieldsman of a calibre Jonty Rhodes still must dream of, and the AIS bowling machine set on maximum speed could not stop him from hooking in front of square. A highly gifted individual indeed. The only thing left for us is the hope that one day he produces a son!

  • on July 12, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Though he may be playing some T20s yet, it must be hard to come to the decision to retire while still able to bat like this. There's nothing quite like the feeling of crashing one through the covers - how is he going to live without that, knowing he still can?. Would be easier on Trescothick if he retired now after 4 ducks in a row!

  • on July 12, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Never been a Punter fan (hard to be as a Pom!) but always respected his batsmanship - a true master.

  • Vpd23 on July 12, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Thank You Punter!! Aah you are sure gonna come up someday in your pajamas to save some team in dire situation somewhere.. something in the near future..Surely!

  • dickiebrewsters on July 12, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Interesting how allarmingly his test career tailed off. In the last 4 years of Test cricket 2681 at 37.76, with over 25% of his runs coming in the 4 centuries he scored over the period. On the other hand, good enough now to continue in domestic cricket for a couple of years & have a crack at 100 centuries, a rarity for non English players.

  • ishud on July 12, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Thank you for all the great memories, Punter! Good luck and all the best for the future! Will never ever forget your glamorous shots!

  • Min2000 on July 12, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    For any young batsmen growing up, you could do far worse than model you technique on Ricky Ponting -- I dont remember seeing him play an ungly shot in 20 years! I think he was unlucky to be captain at a time when Australia's depth was tested but if you need someone to bat to save your life he's be at the top of my list (and I'm a kiwi).

  • brusselslion on July 12, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    @cyril: If Harinath got a jaffa then fair enough, however, re your comments yesterday. You do seem to have a bit of blind spot when it comes to Harinath. He averages 43 in FC this season which ain't bad but, like most of the Surrey batsman, he is inconsistent. Cricinfo lists his most recent 1st class knocks as being: 69, 4, 4*, 36, 23, 26, 65, 154, 4, 24, 11, 53. Moreover, whilst he's not old, he's 26 so he needs to develop pretty quickly from now on: I don't think that he should be considered "..a vital part of the side.." but I can't offer up much in the way of alternatives which, unfortunately, "... does say a lot about the strength of the squad."

    BTW: I'm not a fan of Roy either. 2020 cricketer. In fact, of the youngsters Burns is the one but even he seems to be struggling for consistency at the moment.

  • on July 12, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    Ricky you may not know it , but you have given so much to the game and guys like me . I have enjoyed your aggression. You wer on occasion a ' cussed guy" but you were one guy I would always have in my team. A guy who cared little for personal records and gains, though they came your way by the dozen. You were always about winning and doing your best Will miss you Ramanujam sridhar

  • tickcric on July 12, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    Hated to see you bat when you were at your prime, when your team was at its prime, ie first half of last decade! But it was not hatred really. It was admiration, respect and a wish, 'wish you were in our team'! Now as you have been giving finishing touches to your stellar career (first ODIs, then Tests, now FC & only a few OD & T20s remain before the great Ricky Ponting ends his professional cricket career), the realization is drawing that, what great batting & commitment towards the game you displayed before us! Thank you so much. Best wishes for the life ahead.

  • on July 12, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Almost have tears in my eyes now. Farewell, Ricky. You are a bloody champion, mate. Much love.

  • on July 12, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    again a big thank you and thumbs up from pakistan...you will be missed big time

  • MelbourneMiracle on July 12, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    Please please please Punter, take up Sri Lanka's coaching role and teach our youngsters how to hold a bat properly 1st.

  • Chris_P on July 12, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Good to hear he was taking the young players under his wing at Surrey as he had with Tasmania. Well played Punter.

  • on July 12, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    what a legend! ending his career with 169* is splendid. Thank You Ponting, you left a mark on cricket that won't be erased.

  • on July 12, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    An end to another chapter - cheers ponting!

  • on July 12, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    he was a superb captain, knew what to do when it matters

  • on July 11, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    A truly fantastic end to an illustrious career. Australia really needs another man of this calibre to stand tall, if they are to get close to some of those great moments under Ricky Pointing.

  • czar2008 on July 11, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    Ponting, Thank you for the amazing memories. You were one of the best batsman in the world in your prime. Barring some test debacles and contentious issues, you have always given cricket your all...Well done and Thanks once again.. From an Indian Fan - 3 cheers!!

  • lebigfella on July 11, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Well Ricky... sadly I now no longer have a genius to follow... it's been a love-hate affair... only a mild hate mind whenever you've played England but a love & adoration whenever you've played anybody else... I was backpacking in Australia in '93 and I remember all were getting very excited about you then... three years later and the legend started. Good luck in your retirement and you're always welcomed back in Blighty

  • Harmony111 on July 11, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Good bye Ricky. You rose from being a troublesome player to one of the greatest of all times and were like Bradman 2.0 for a few years. You showed to the world what application really means and what one can become provided he applies himself. Millions of people around the world look at you as an idol and each time someone in life feels low and lost, he should think of you and what you became. You were not perfect, you had a lot of flaws but this is not the time for them. This time we talk about your virtues and how high you rose due to them. There is one Aussie who can and should meet you for a pep talk now that you have retired. His name is David Warner and who knows what he will do in the next 10 years if you can give him a few tips. The parallels between him and you are quite striking and the lad is talented too, just like you were. All he needs is some flushing. Go give it to him.

    And I think Lehmann won't think twice before picking you for the 2nd test, if you were to say YES :-p

  • on July 11, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    A Real legend...greatest batsmen of an era...hats off to you Ricky Ponting...

  • Cyril_Knight on July 11, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    While it is right on such an occasion to devote inches to Ponting, the match cannot be forgotten, so some praise must go to Dernbach. It was a very nervous period after Ansari was given out and had Jade not knuckled down and blocked and blocked Notts would have been left chasing around 100 from the last session and won easily.

    Ponting made his innings look so easy, he only looked like running himself out. But it was a shame that so many, even many of the big regulars, chose the Ashes over Surrey today and a little piece of cricket history.

    BTW: Harinath was out to an absolute snorter, God only knows what that ball did. Looked like it cut back and kept low at close to 90mph!

  • DaDaL0G on July 11, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    I am gonna miss you Sir :(

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 11, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    What a way to finish! Tremendous stuff from Ricky in helping to save us today. Hoefully we may have learnt a thing or two from the experience. Good luck,Ricky and thanks!

  • SamWintson92 on July 11, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    It's good that no 11 Agar top scored for Australia otherwise it would have been quite a shameful total for Australia. I feel what Australia lacks in the batting is experience which Aus used to have when Aus was no 1 side. Aus will feel it in the long run. I would have definitely taken experience trio of Katich-Ponting-M Hussey in the Ashes. Katich's also in England, making double century although M Hussey retired. I feel Aus have left them incomplete. Glad that Ponting ended his career on a high.

  • popcorn on July 11, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    Ricky Ponting, you are the best batsman that ever played the game.You are a Role Model for EVERY Youngster who wants to learn cricket at the grassroots level from Club Cricket to the International stage. Your dedication and commitment are benchmarks in World Cricket. I do hope you will set the tone in Australia,starting from Brooks and Mowbrays in Launceston,Tasmania.

  • popcorn on July 11, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    Ricky Ponting, you are the best batsman that ever played the game.You are a Role Model for EVERY Youngster who wants to learn cricket at the grassroots level from Club Cricket to the International stage. Your dedication and commitment are benchmarks in World Cricket. I do hope you will set the tone in Australia,starting from Brooks and Mowbrays in Launceston,Tasmania.

  • SamWintson92 on July 11, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    It's good that no 11 Agar top scored for Australia otherwise it would have been quite a shameful total for Australia. I feel what Australia lacks in the batting is experience which Aus used to have when Aus was no 1 side. Aus will feel it in the long run. I would have definitely taken experience trio of Katich-Ponting-M Hussey in the Ashes. Katich's also in England, making double century although M Hussey retired. I feel Aus have left them incomplete. Glad that Ponting ended his career on a high.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 11, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    What a way to finish! Tremendous stuff from Ricky in helping to save us today. Hoefully we may have learnt a thing or two from the experience. Good luck,Ricky and thanks!

  • DaDaL0G on July 11, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    I am gonna miss you Sir :(

  • Cyril_Knight on July 11, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    While it is right on such an occasion to devote inches to Ponting, the match cannot be forgotten, so some praise must go to Dernbach. It was a very nervous period after Ansari was given out and had Jade not knuckled down and blocked and blocked Notts would have been left chasing around 100 from the last session and won easily.

    Ponting made his innings look so easy, he only looked like running himself out. But it was a shame that so many, even many of the big regulars, chose the Ashes over Surrey today and a little piece of cricket history.

    BTW: Harinath was out to an absolute snorter, God only knows what that ball did. Looked like it cut back and kept low at close to 90mph!

  • on July 11, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    A Real legend...greatest batsmen of an era...hats off to you Ricky Ponting...

  • Harmony111 on July 11, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Good bye Ricky. You rose from being a troublesome player to one of the greatest of all times and were like Bradman 2.0 for a few years. You showed to the world what application really means and what one can become provided he applies himself. Millions of people around the world look at you as an idol and each time someone in life feels low and lost, he should think of you and what you became. You were not perfect, you had a lot of flaws but this is not the time for them. This time we talk about your virtues and how high you rose due to them. There is one Aussie who can and should meet you for a pep talk now that you have retired. His name is David Warner and who knows what he will do in the next 10 years if you can give him a few tips. The parallels between him and you are quite striking and the lad is talented too, just like you were. All he needs is some flushing. Go give it to him.

    And I think Lehmann won't think twice before picking you for the 2nd test, if you were to say YES :-p

  • lebigfella on July 11, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Well Ricky... sadly I now no longer have a genius to follow... it's been a love-hate affair... only a mild hate mind whenever you've played England but a love & adoration whenever you've played anybody else... I was backpacking in Australia in '93 and I remember all were getting very excited about you then... three years later and the legend started. Good luck in your retirement and you're always welcomed back in Blighty

  • czar2008 on July 11, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    Ponting, Thank you for the amazing memories. You were one of the best batsman in the world in your prime. Barring some test debacles and contentious issues, you have always given cricket your all...Well done and Thanks once again.. From an Indian Fan - 3 cheers!!

  • on July 11, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    A truly fantastic end to an illustrious career. Australia really needs another man of this calibre to stand tall, if they are to get close to some of those great moments under Ricky Pointing.