Ponting starts with a bang

Ponting starts with a bang

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting marked his English county championship debut for Surrey by compiling an unbeaten 120 against Derbyshire on Saturday.

The 38-year-old, who joined up with his new team this week after playing in the Indian Premier League for the Mumbai Indians, struck 13 fours as Surrey reached 362 for four in reply to Derbyshire's first innings 452 all out.

Ponting's experience is a boost for Surrey who are without South Africa skipper Graeme Smith due to injury.

Smith was due to captain the county this season but has returned to South Africa for ankle surgery.

Ponting last played county cricket in 2004 for Somerset.

He featured for Australia in 168 matches and scored 13,378 runs at an average of 51.85 before retiring from Test cricket in November.

Ponting shared a third-wicket stand of 180 on Saturday with Arun Harinath (154).
"It's great for a young person making his way in the game to have him at the other end," said Harinath.

"He's a chatter, he gives advice on where to score off each bowler. With that amount of experience and that wealth of runs behind you, you're going to know how to play in most situations."