Ricky Ponting is just like his old self with century against Derbyshire

Derbyshire 452 Surrey 362-4 (Surrey trail by 90 runs)

derby

Ricky Ponting retired from international cricket with the honest admission that he no longer felt good enough, and when quizzed about his position on the eve of his debut as a Surrey player he insisted there is no going back. More days such as this and he can expect to be asked again – and again.

The former captain of Australia announced the start of his second stint in English domestic cricket with the 81st first-class century of his career, a chanceless demonstration that even at 38, the feet are sufficiently nimble and the eyes sufficiently sharp to make scoring runs at this level look as routine as ever, even if facing the likes of Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn has become a little too demanding.

Sure, Ponting will face more difficult opponents than Derbyshire, whose willingness to service his fondness for the pull shot seemed to be taking respect for his stature in the game just a little too far.

The pull shot, the off drive and the cut accounted for the majority of the 13 boundaries that enabled him to make the statement Surrey were willing him to make in a season that, as so many before, is not going according to plan.

After their bad luck with Graeme Smith, injured before he could make any real impact, Surrey needed Ponting to confirm that his fine form in the Sheffield Shield, when he made three hundreds including a double for Tasmania, was a more accurate indicator of his longevity than his scratchy effort for Mumbai in the IPL.

Arriving immediately after lunch, following the dismissal of Vikram Solanki, Ponting had 62 by tea and a century by a quarter past five. He shared a partnership of 180 for the third wicket with Arun Harinath, who turned his third career hundred into a career-best 154 before he was bowled by a ball from David Wainwright, the left-arm spinner, that kept low and struck him on the heel.

Surrey insisted afterwards that he, rather than Ponting, should hold court with the media, as recognition of the quality of his innings.

It was a stylish effort all round, including 21 fours and one six, the maximum taking him into three figures when he lifted a ball from Wes Durston over the long-on boundary.

Some balls spun, although there was never any serious help for the bowlers on a generally benign track that will probably consign this match to a draw. It did not help Derbyshire's cause, though, that several of their number complained, along with umpire Nigel Cowley, of feeling light-headed soon after lunch.

Cowley left the field for 20 minutes, his place taken by the Surrey first-team coach, Ian Salisbury, although the cause of the affliction could not be explained.

Derbyshire had bowled most effectively in the morning, although it took them until the stroke of lunch to make a breakthrough, when Solanki, who had looked uncomfortable against Mark Footitt's pace, turned a ball from Durston down the leg side to be caught by short-leg Billy Godleman after rebounding off the thigh of wicketkeeper Richard Johnson.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project