We knew we could win, claims Ponting

Australia 127 & 381 Pakistan 333 & 139 (Australia win by 36 runs)

Maybe there's life in the old dog yet. 2009 was not great for Australia – no year in which the Ashes are surrendered can be – but 2010 got off to the most thrilling of beginnings yesterday when they bowled out Pakistan for just 139 to seal a narrow triumph and victory in the series.

Few gave the hosts any hope of victory before this fourth day, but their jubilant captain Ricky Ponting says his side never lost hope they could overturn three days of Pakistan dominance. Given their recent history at the SCG – they have enjoyed tight wins over India and South Africa in the past two seasons – you can understand why. "I don't think anyone else in the world other than probably all the blokes inside our room thought we could win," he said.

"The other [recent SCG Tests] we've probably been in positions where we probably should have won the games. So this one, turning up today 80 runs ahead, I think all of us in our changing room felt that if we could get 150 we were going to be right in the game. Where it ended up today was a sort of a difficult number I think for Pakistan to look at and try to chase."

Pakistan needed 176 for victory. Ponting added: "Those sort of totals are always hard to chase but what Huss and Sids [Michael Hussey and Peter Siddle, who put on 123 for the ninth wicket] did today and what the bowlers did and probably more importantly today what the fielders did ... those little things like that can be the difference between winning and losing."

Ponting conceded the furore surrounding his decision to bat first on a green SCG wicket on the opening day had taken a toll on the entire team. Although he could see the lighter side of his contentious decision after pulling off the unlikely triumph, the home captain stood by his brave call before admitting he is unlikely to ever choose to bowl first in a Test match again. "It's been a pretty tough few days not only for me but the team," Ponting said.

"What we've read over the last couple of days and what we've seen and heard on the news probably just steeled us all a little bit and just made us want to fight the game out as much as we can and prove that we're never out of the contest."

Shell-shocked Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf (19) accepted the blame for his side's disappointing second innings before conceding his side's lack of Test experience was a major factor.

Yousuf said that his dismissal was the final day's pivotal moment. "I think they batted very well in the second innings, and my shot this afternoon was very pathetic and it turned the game that shot," he said, referring to an aggressive drive he returned caught and bowled to Nathan Hauritz just after tea. "I think otherwise we would have won the game, not easily but we [would] have won.

"We have to be professional, we have to perform... we need to take the pressure, especially me. I'm a very experienced player, while they're [his team-mates] all young."

The three-match series will now shift to Hobart on 14 January with Australia holding an unassailable 2-0 advantage.

Greatest Tests: Other fine comebacks

England v Australia (Headingley, July 1981)

England were quoted at odds of 500-1 to win after the visitors had raced to a first-innings lead of 227. With the hosts on 135 for 7, Ian Botham hit 149 from 148 balls before Bob Willis took 8 for 43 to send Australia tumbling to defeat.

West Indies v England (Trinidad, Mar 94)

Led by Angus Fraser and Chris Lewis with four wickets apiece, England restricted the hosts to 252 in their first innings. By the time England came to bat a second time they required just 194 to win – but were skittled for 46.

West Indies v Australia (Barbados, March 1999)

Having conceded a first-innings lead of 161, West Indies looked doomed. Enter Courtney Walsh, who took 5 for 39 to skittle the Aussies before Brian Lara hit 153 not out to secure a barely credible one-wicket win.

India v Australia (Calcutta, March 2001)

A Steve Waugh ton helped the Aussies to 445 before they bowled the hosts out for 171. Following on, India hit 657 for 7 before they declared to leave Australia 384 to win. Harbhajan Singh took 6 for 73 as Australia were bowled out for 212, losing by 171 runs.

Sydney scoreboard

Australia v Pakistan

Sydney (Fourth day of five); Australia beat Pakistan by 36 runs; Australia won toss

Australia: First Innings 127 (M Asif 6-41).

Pakistan: First Innings 333 (Butt 71, Farhat 53; Bollinger 4-72).

Australia: Second Innings Overnight: 286-8 (Watson 97)

M Hussey not out 134

P Siddle c ul-Haq b Asif 38

D Bollinger b Kaneria 0

Extras (b 6, lb 5, w 3, nb 5) 19

Total (125.4 overs) 381

Fall: 1-105, 2-144, 3-159, 4-217, 5-226, 6-246, 7-252, 8-257, 9-380, 10-381.

Bowling: M Asif 27-8-53-2, M Sami 19.5-4-74-0, U Gul 28-4-83-3, D Kaneria 47.5-3-151-5, I Farhat 3-0-9-0.

Pakistan: Second Innings

I Farhat c Johnson b Bollinger 22

S Butt c Haddin b Johnson 21

F Iqbal c Haddin b Johnson 7

*M Yousuf c & b Hauritz 19

U Akmal c Johnson b Bollinger 49

M ul-Haq c Hussey b Hauritz 0

†K Akmal c Haddin b Johnson 11

M Sami c Haddin b Hauritz 2

U Gul c Siddle b Hauritz 6

D Kaneria c Watson b Hauritz 0

M Asif not out 0

Extras (w 1, nb 1) 2

Total (38 overs) 139

Fall: 1-34, 2-50, 3-51, 4-77, 5-77, 6-103, 7-133, 8-133, 9-135, 10-139.

Bowling: D Bollinger 12-3-32-2, P Siddle 4-1-27-0, N Hauritz 12-1-53-5, M Johnson 10-2-27-3.

Umpires: E A R de Silva (SL) & B R Doctrove (WI).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin visits her 1990s work ‘My Bed’ at Tate Britain in London, where it is back on display from today
artsBut how does the iconic work stand up, 16 years on?
Life and Style
life + style
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor