Sydney Test: Australia beat SA challenge
Graeme Smith's challenge backfired and Ponting led Australia to a 2-0 series victory at Sydney.Updated: Jan 06, 2006 12:22 IST
Australian captain Ricky Ponting became the first cricketer to score two centuries in his 100th test, guiding Australia to an unlikely eight-wicket victory on Friday over South Africa and a 2-0 series win.
Graeme Smith, seeking a series-leveling win, declared South Africa's second innings at 194 for six an hour before lunch, setting Australia 287 to win and giving his attack 76 overs to bowl the hosts out.
Ponting was unbeaten on 143, his 28th test hundred, when Australia broke the 108-year-old record for highest fourth innings winning total at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
He stroked a boundary for the winning runs, lifting the total to 288 for two. Brad Hodge was not out 27.
Australia set the old mark by scoring 276-4 to beat England in 1898.
In the process, he moved to 10th in the list of all-time leading scorers,surpassing David Gower's 8,231 from 117 tests,and became the most prolific test batsmen ever at the SCG.
After Justin Langer was bowled for 20, Ponting shared a 182-run second-wicket partnership with opener Matthew Hayden that lifted Australia from 30-1 to 212-2.
Hayden compiled a patient 90 from 134 balls until he miscued a Johan Botha ball to Smith at backward point.
The South Africans had made all the running until the final morning after winning the toss, deciding to bat and declaring at 451-9, then dismissing Australia for 359 in reply. Smith said he'd risk defeat to chase a win in Sydney and held his word when he declared after South Africa had added 100 to its overnight 94-3.
Australia cautiously blocked out the new ball and then went on the attack, taking the momentum by scoring at between four and five runs an over.
Ponting, who had not scored centuries in each innings of a test in a decade until his 149 and 104 against the West Indies in Brisbane last November, has now done in twice in two months.
The Australian captain became only the sixth batsman to score a century in his 100th test with his 120 in the first innings here. He is the 35th player to reach the 100-test milestone. He scored three centuries and two half centuries in the three-match series and moved into outright sixth place on the all-time list of century makers.
Earlier, Jacques Kallis was unbeaten on 50 and Shaun Pollock hit 26 from 21 balls, including two fours and a six before South Africa declared.
Legspinner Stuart MacGill took three wickets and returned 3-33, dismissing Ashwell Prince (18), Jacques Rudolph (4) and having Mark Boucher (11) stumped by Adam Gilchrist.
South Africa 1st innings:451 for 9 decl (A. Prince 119, J. Kallis 111)
Australia 1st innings:359 (R. Ponting 120, A. Gilchrist 86;
A. Nel 4-81)
South Africa 2nd innings:(Overnight: 94-3)
G. Smith lbw b McGrath 5
A. de Villiers lbw b Lee 1
H. Gibbs run out 67
J. Kallis not out 50
A. Prince c Ponting b MacGill 18
J. Rudolph c McGrath b MacGill 4
M. Boucher st Gilchrist b MacGill 11
S. Pollock not out 26
Extras (b-3 lb-4 nb-2 w-3) 12
Total (for 6 wickets declared, 42 overs) 194
Fall of wickets:1-4 2-6 3-92 4-123 5-129 6-152
G. McGrath 15 - 2 - 61 - 1 (nb-1)
B. Lee 10 - 3 - 48 - 1 (nb-1)
S. Warne 11 - 1 - 45 - 0 (w-3)
S. MacGill 6 - 1 - 33 - 3
Australia 2nd innings (Target: 287 runs)
J. Langer b Langeveldt 20
M. Hayden c Smith b Botha 90
R. Ponting not out 143
B. Hodge not out 27
Extras (lb-1 nb-4 w-3) 8
Total (for 2 wickets, 60.3 overs) 288
Fall of wickets: 1-30 2-212
S. Pollock 14 - 2 - 55 - 0 (nb-2 w-1)
C. Langeveldt 14 - 1 - 52 - 1 (nb-2)
A. Nel 7 - 0 - 46 - 0
J. Botha 12.3 - 0 - 77 - 1 (w-1)
J. Kallis 2 - 0 - 8 - 0
J. Rudolph 11 - 0 - 49 - 0 (w-1)
Result: Australia won by 8 wickets
First Published: Jan 06, 2006 10:46 IST