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Aus vs SA Day 4: Ricky Ponting fails to fire as Protease tighten noose
Dailybhaskar.com | Dec 03, 2012, 12:25PM IST
Perth: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting failed to fire in the farewell Test as he walked off the field for just eight runs.
Caught by Jacques Kallis off the bowling of Robin Peterson, the former Australian captain waved his bat for one last time as he bid adeiu to his Test career.
The ground's big screen were emblazoned with the words 'Thanks Ricky'.
Earlier, Ponting was given a highly unusual guard of honour by South Africa's players as he came out to bat in his last ever Test innings Monday. The South Africans showed their appreciation of his exploits over a 17-year career by lining up to clap him onto the pitch.
Set a mammoth target of 632 runs to win, Australia lost three wickets in the opening session on day four, reaching lunch at 110 for three, with opener Ed Cowan unbeaten on 37 and skipper Michael Clarke on eight.
Resuming at 40 without loss, the home team lost David Warner (29) to the second ball of the day, caught at first slip by Graeme Smith off Vernon Philander.
Shane Watson made 25 before he was also caught by Smith, from the bowling of Morne Morkel.
That brought Ponting, the second-highest scoring batsman in Test cricket history behind Sachin Tendulkar, to the crease for the last time at the top level, in his 168th match.
The South Africans formed a guard of honour when he strode to the crease, with the Tasmanian shaking hands with Proteas skipper Smith as he came out.
Ponting got off the mark with a trademark pull shot for four off Morkel.
However, he lasted only 23 deliveries before falling to spinner Robin Peterson just minutes before lunch. He was caught at first slip by Jacques Kallis attempting to force Peterson off the back foot.
Ponting stopped his walk back to the pavilion to raise his bat and acknowledge the cheering crowd, while the Proteas halted their celebrations to offer more applause.
He finishes his career with 13,378 Test runs at 51.85, including 41 centuries.
Ponting also shares the record for Test appearances for his country with his predecessor as Australian captain, Steve Waugh.
(With PTI inputs)