Ponting leads Australia to win | india | Hindustan Times
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Ponting leads Australia to win

The Aussie captain made a triumphant return from injury when he led the team to a 24-run win over South Africa in the third ODI.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 11:44 IST

Ricky Ponting made a triumphant return from injury when he captained Australia to a 24-run win over South Africa in the third one-day international at St George's Park on Sunday.

Ponting made top score of 62 in an Australian total of 254 for six. Then he led a fired-up Australian team in the field as South Africa were bowled out for 230, with fast bowler Brett Lee taking four for 48.

South Africa crashed to 69 for five but their hopes were raised when AB de Villiers (68) and Shaun Pollock (69) put on 119 for the sixth wicket.

Lee, after struggling in the first two games, dismissed captain Graeme Smith in the third over of the South African innings and took wickets at important times to earn the man of the match award.

His figures were spoilt when he conceded 15 runs in his final over, with South African number ten batsman Roger Telemachus slogging two sixes.

Australia needed the win after they lost the first two of five matches while Ponting was missing because of an abdominal strain.

Smith sent Australia in to bat because he believed the conditions would remain similar for both innings in a day game on a small ground which has yielded some high totals.

A slow pitch proved less batsman-friendly than expected.

The Australian batsmen struggled to time the ball against accurate bowling, while South Africa fielded well, but Australia managed to score 99 runs off the last 12 overs.