On this day in 1997, Australia legend Ricky Ponting scored his maiden Test century at Headingley. It was a special one too, as it came against Australia’s fiercest rivals, England, in their own backyard. Ponting brought up his ton on the third day of the fourth Ashes Test in 1997 in Leeds as he helped Australia defeat the Michael Atherton-led England side by an innings and 61 runs. The former Australia captain took to Twitter on Sunday to reminisce about the special occasion.
“My first Test ton and an Ashes one, 23 years ago to the day. Being on 99 that day was the most nervous I I think I ever was, but thankfully I had Matthew Elliott at the other end to help guide me through as he went on to a magnificent 199,” Ponting tweeted.
My first Test ton and an Ashes one, 23 years ago to the day. Being on 99 that day was the most nervous I I think I ever was, but thankfully I had Matthew Elliott at the other end to help guide me through as he went on to a magnificent 199. pic.twitter.com/163pUx9iVw
— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) July 26, 2020
Having won the toss and elected to field, Australia bowled out England for 172, with pacer Jason Gillespie taking seven wickets in a magnificent display.
But they were soon in a spot of bother as Darren Gough and Dean Headley ran through Australia’s top order with two wickets each.
Ponting walked in to bat with Australia on 50-4.
The destructive batsman gave the world a glimpse of what they could expect in the coming years, as he put on a mammoth 268-run stand with Matthew Elliott, before falling for 127.
It was a knock decorated with 16 boundaries and a six.
Elliott was bowled by Gough for 199 and Australia eventually declared at 501-9. They dismissed England for 268.
Ricky Ponting went on to score a total of 41 Test centuries from 168 matches, with a highest score of 257. Only Sachin Tendulkar has more centuries in the longest format of the game.
He amassed a total of 13,378 runs in Test cricket at an average of 51.85 in a career that spanned 17 years.
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