Ponting falls for just four runs as Australia collapse against South Africa in his farewell Test match
10:47 GMT, 1 December 2012
A final session rich with runs put South
Africa in complete control on the second day of their third and
deciding Test with Australia in Perth, with the retiring Ricky Ponting among the home side's failures.
With both sides having been dismissed cheaply first up, the Proteas headed back to the crease just before tea with a lead of 62. Come stumps their card read 230 for two, an overall advantage of 292.
They helped themselves to 206 runs in the final session, with Hashim Amla walking off unbeaten on 99 while Graeme Smith (84) was only stopped on his way to a century by a brilliant catch from Nathan Lyon.
On his way out: Ricky Ponting heads to the crease at WACA on Saturday
And on his way OUT: Ponting walks away after being dismissed by South Africa's Vernon Philander
The same player would drop Jacques
Kallis shortly after, though, although with a lead of close to 300
already and with plenty of time on their side, South Africa would have
no doubt remained in command regardless.
Their riotous session overshadowed
the grand farewell of Australian batsman Ponting, although the retiring
Tasmanian will probably be glad of that.
He contributed just four to a
first-innings total of 163 all out which left South Africa in credit
before they even started their second innings.
It was their rousing bowling
performance that gave them the platform, on a morning when fans had
flocked to the WACA in anticipation of one last masterclass from the
departing Ponting, but instead it was the Proteas attack who grabbed the
limelight as they took eight wickets for 130.
Australia, who need to win to return
to top spot in the ICC rankings, would have been in more trouble had
wicketkeeper Matthew Wade not made a fluent 68.
The hosts resumed on 33 for two in
the morning session but David Warner fell to the first ball of the
second over, aiming a swipe at Dale Steyn's loosener to feed AB de
Villiers a catch.
That brought Ponting to the crease to
a rousing ovation and the clapping had scarcely abated when he scooped
his first ball just short of mid-wicket.
A nervy single got him going but
nightwatchman Lyon was gone inside the same over, Steyn and Faf Du
Plessis combining for the wicket.
Vernon Philander then played the role
of party pooper, Ponting tucking bat behind pad before being struck on
the knee-roll after some late inswing.
Asad Rauf raised the finger and Ponting's unsuccessful use of DRS screamed of hope rather than judgement.
Australia were desperate to take the
sting out of the situation but instead things went from bad to worse as
in-form skipper Michael Clarke (five) was undone by another brute of a
ball from Steyn.
That left Clarke's side reeling at 45 for six and Wade decided to launch the counter-attack.
He hooked Philander for six and then nicked him through an empty third
slip for four and from there was looking to score from most balls.
A second six followed off Robin Peterson and he found the boundary again with a couple of cross-bat shots.
Final farewell: Ponting runs out in Perth as Australia bid to stay in touch with South Africa
Michael Hussey made 12 in 40 balls
before edging Morne Morkel to Graeme Smith at slip, but Wade continued
unabashed, bringing up his half-century with a third maximum off
Wade went into his shell somewhat after lunch and was eventually bowled by the left-arm spin of Peterson for 68.
That exposed the tail but John Hastings struck three fours in a row off Peterson to offer hope.
Peterson had more luck against Mitchell Johnson, who he bowled for
seven, and Hastings was last out for 32 when Alviro Petersen took a
smart catch in two movements at long-off.
Some streaky hitting from Petersen
took South Africa to 24 without loss at tea but, after he went to
Johnson, caught and bowled off a riser, the tourists took a firm grip on
Smith brought up his 50 off 67 balls –
Amla outpaced him and did it in 37 – although the hosts thought they
had snared Smith when Starc pinned him and was given out, although his
review proved a correct one as replays showed the ball was going over
Smith would eventually perish with
the partnership on 178, hooking Starc into the hands of Lyon who did
brilliantly to dive forward running in from the boundary, although he
was unable to cling on when
Kallis did something similar on
three. That was the last real action of the day, with Amla ending one
run shy of an 18th Test century and Kallis on 17.