Golden duck for Ponting

Australia 341-9 South Africa

Three wickets from South Africa's Makhaya Ntini gave Australia food for thought on the opening day of the first Test here.

Australia overcame a terrible start to finish on 341 for 9 at stumps, with Simon Katich (83), Michael Clarke (62) and Andrew Symonds (57) all passing their half-centuries. But Australia will be disappointed with the way several batsmen threw away their wickets with Clarke, Symonds and Brad Haddin all getting out cheaply.

Australia would probably have been happy with the 300-plus score after crashing to 15 for 3 in the first six overs when Matthew Hayden fell for 12 and Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey both went for ducks.

Hayden had got off to a flyer, bludgeoning Ntini for two fours in the opening over. A third four, brilliantly punched down the ground, forced Ntini to alter his approach. The fast bowler opted to go around the wicket and his shorter, angled delivery seamed away from the left-handed Hayden getting a thick edge that went straight to captain Graeme Smith at first slip. The very next ball Ntini struck again, claiming Ponting's scalp with a fuller delivery that took a thick edge to gully. It was only the second golden duck in Ponting's career. He also went off the first ball in Chennai during Australia's 2001 tour of India. Hussey survived Ntini's hat-trick ball.