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?
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

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor