Australia v India, Champions Trophy, Group A, Centurion September 28, 2009

Ponting dazzles before the rain

Cricinfo staff

Australia were the frontrunners when the match was abandoned. There was no centurion at Centurion but a string of half-centuries from Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Tim Paine, as well as a late flurry from Cameron White set them on a comfortable course.

Ponting controlled the middle of the innings as he kept the scoreboard ticking over with little drama. He was more classical than Hussey, if slower to score his 65 runs, until he was caught short by a magnificent direct hit from the deep from Gautam Gambhir. Until that moment, Ponting had looked set for a century as he settled into a rhythm with quick singles and the odd cracking cut or drive, as well as one brilliant, high lofted drive for six off a good-length Praveen Kumar delivery.

Ponting was the anchor, combining in an 88-run stand with Hussey and an 84-run partnership with Paine, while India's bowlers battled to make inroads into the top order.